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Friuted by William Clowes and Sons, 

Stamford Street. 






I would fain deprecate the censure of severe critics, which 
the superficial character of the following pages might other- 
wise call forth, by a few words of explanation as to my 
motives and objects in publishing them. 

Knowing that very many persons at " Home " are deeply 
interested in these distant Colonies, as being the residence 
of dear friends and relatives, and that, as in the case of my 
own home-connexions, they really understand very little of 
the general aspect of things here, I believed that a few- 
simple sketches from nature, however devoid of scientific 
lore, would be a welcome addition to the present small fund 
of information on common every-day topics relating to these 
antipodean climes ; and of such belief, this little work is the 

My aim has been simply to give my own impressions of 
whatever appeared worthy observation. I cannot for a 
moment flatter myself with the idea of conveying information 
to those skilled in scientific detail ; my desire was to give 
true and general descriptions of scenery, people, and the 
various objects which strike a new-comer as novel or remark- 
able ; just, in fact, as they appeared to myself. I have 



sketched every-day things with a faithful and homely pencil ; 
and if the learned find nothing new in my unvarnished 
narrative, let them not condemn the unambitious attempt to 
amuse and interest the general, and more especially the 
young reader. Books of reference I have none, nor can I 
here obtain the use of any. My own observation, aided by 
my husband's long experience in these Colonies, is my sole 
resource ; therefore, however defective may be the finish of 
my picture in detail, the outline is at least original. 

As it is necessarily impossible that I can correct the press 
myself, numerous typographical errors are almost unavoid- 
able, and for which I can only entreat the kind indulgence 
of my readers. 

Spring Vale, 
Great Swanport, Van Diemen's Land, 
December, 1843. 


Preface ........... yii 


Embarkation — Indisposition — Pleasures of a Sea Voyage — Fellow-pas- 
sengers — Observance of Character — Devonshire Coast — Pilots — Land 
Luxuries — H.M.S. Hercules — Eddystone Lighthouse — Last Land . 1 


Bay of Biscay — Spanish Coast — Employment the best preventive of 
Ennui — Phosphorescence of the Sea — Portuguese Men-of-war — Swal- 
lows — Teneriffe — Speaking the Cherub — Fear of Pirates — Por- 
poises — Flying Fish — Capture of a Boneto— Dolphins . 7 


Calm in the Tropics — Sharks — Turtle — Ianthina — Shovel-board — 
" Crossing the Line " — Loss of the North Star — Southern Constellations 
— Moonlight in the Tropics — Sunsets — Waterspouts — " Sun-dogs" . 1 6 


Whales and " Jets d'eau" — Birds — Boatswain — Boobies — Cape Pigeon — 
Mischief of Idleness — " Mr.Winkles" at Sea — Great Albatross — Nelly 
— Stormy Petrel — Blue Petrel — Sailors' Delicacies — Stormy Weather 23 


Island of St. Paul's — Islands in Bass's Straits — Mutton-birds — Botany 
Bay Heads — General excitement — Heads of Port Jackson — Scenery — 
New Zealanders — First sight of Sydney — Pull ashore— Comforts of 
Land Life— George Street, Sydney — The Domain — Eucalyptus, &c. 
— Wooloomooloo — Government Gardens . . . . .31 



Sydney Market — Fish, &c. — Dust, Flies, Mosquitoes — Drive to the 
Lighthouse — Flowers — Parrots — Black Cockatoos —Hyde Park — 
Churches — Libraries — " Currency " Population — Houses — Balls, 
&c. — Inns — Colonial Newspapers Page 43 


Leave Sydney — " Clearings" — Huts of the Working Classes — Chain- 
Gangs — Parramatta — Creeks and Rivers — Inn — Birds — Road to 
Penrith — Grasshoppers — Penrith— Nepean— Emu Plains — Ascent of 
the Blue Mountains— Waratah 56 


A " Country Inn " — Breakfast — Contrasts — A Bush Ramble and Digres- 
sion about Ants — Mountain Scenery — Cattle Skeletons — "Weather- 
board" Inn — Supper and Night at "Blind Paddy's" — Mountains, and 
the Surveyor's Roads — Mount Victoria — Convict Gangs and Bush- 
rangers — Inn at the " Rivulet," and its Inhabitants — The Ruling Vice 66 


" Hassan's Walls" — Grass Trees — Mount Lambey — Victoria Inn — Speci- 
men of Benevolent Politeness — Colonial Bridges — First View of 
Bathurst — The " Settlement" — Dearth — Climate — Hot Winds — Pro- 
cessions of Whirlwinds — Hurricanes ...... 79 


Bathurst Society and Hospitality — " White Rock" — Native Dance and 
Ceremony — Kangaroo Dance— Appearance of Natives — Children — 
" Gins " — Their marriage, slavery, and sufferings — Family Dinner- 
party — Adopted Children — Infanticide — Religion — " Devil-Devil" — 
Language— Story of Hougong and Jimmy—" Ay, ay ?" — Duties of 
the Toilet— Native Songs — Mimicry— Fondness for English Dress — 
Boundary Laws — Legal Parricide— Habitual Treachery . . yo 


Native Huts— " Gunyon"— Natives' ingenuity in Duck-Snaring and 
Fishing— Native Weapons— Green Frogs— Freshwater Shells— Platy- 
pus — Spur-winged Plover— Australian Harebell — Convolvulus — 
Everlastings— Peppermint Tree— Opossums— Natives' mode of taking 
them 103 



Native Turkeys — Their mode of Incubation — Native Cranberry — Our 
Return — Locusts — Manna — Transformations — Ground Grubs — 
Night at the Rivulet — New flowers — Heat and Dust — " Weather- 
board" Inn — Walk to the Cascade— Fringed Violet — Waratahs— 
Fine View — Lories Page 114 


Storm and fine view on Lapstone Hill — Farm-house in the " public" line 
— Arrive at Parramatta — Steamboat — Scenery on the " River "— 
Sydney Christmas Tree— Christmas Day— Tippling Servants . 124 


Homebush — Colonial Country-houses — The "Avenue" — Gates— Slip- 
rails — Bushrangers — Mounted Police — Dingoes — Flying Fox — 
Flying Opossum — Native Cats — Birds — Robins — Swallows— Knife- 
grinder — Coachman — Bell-bird — Laughing Jackass — Larks — Game 129 


Norfolk Island Pine — English Pear-tree — Daisy — Bush Flowers — 
Creepers — He-oak — Zamia — " Wooden Pear-tree" — Native Cherry — 
Insect Architecture — Twig-nests, &c. — Butterflies — Ground Spiders — 
Tarantula — Silk Spiders — Scorpions — Hornets — Mosquitoes — Ants . 139 


Guanas— Lizards — Snakes— Salt Marshes — Fishing — Crabs— Toad-fish 
— Mangrove-trees — Romance and reality — Night sounds — Orange- 
Groves— Gardens — Gigantic Lily — Scarcity of fresh water — Winter 
Rains — Salt Well — Climate in Winter — Society — Conversation — 
Servants— Domestic matters— Embarkation for Van Diemen's Land 150 


&c. ■ &c. 


Embarkation — Indisposition — Pleasures of a Sea Voyage — Fellow-passengers 
— Observance of Character — Devonshire Coast — Pilots — Land Luxuries — 
H.M.S. Hercules — Eddystone Lighthouse — Last Land. 

Early in the month of June, 1839, we left England for New 
South Wales ; and although at the time the voyage seemed to 
me very monotonous and devoid of incident, yet, in writing 
any account of the interesting objects these colonies present, I 
cannot pass altogether silently over the events, however few or 
trifling, that served in some measure to vary the tedium of a four 
months' passage hither, which I can assure my readers is far 
more irksome than any one would imagine who has not endured 
that unpleasant captivity. 

It is now more than three years since that time, but I remem- 
ber most vividly my feelings of disgust on stepping from the 
chair in which I was hoisted on board the Letilia, amidst the 
strange melee on deck. I was too ignorant of nautical matters 
to make proper allowance for the slovenly aspect of things in 
their then incomplete state of arrangement. 

Dirt and confusion seemed to share the sovereignty between 
them, and the heterogeneous assemblage of trunks, chests, cases, 
bags, hampers, hen-coops, pigs, dogs, coils of rope, sailors and 
passengers on deck, made me gladly retreat to our own cabin, 
where the final disposal of our various goods and chattels occupied 
us the remainder of the evening. 


SEA-SICKNESS. [chap. i. 

I was greatly amused and puzzled by Mr. Meredith's extreme 
caution in lashing every article with ropes to the sides of the 
cabin, as well as by having deep cleats of wood nailed to the 
floor to keep our chest of drawers, &c. in place. Even my 
dressing-case and work-box were tied fast, like a couple of ter- 
rible wild animals, lest they should make a sudden rush at us, and 
the candlestick was securely confined in their company. A con- 
venient shelf, with a strong rail in front, formed an excellent 
bookcase ; and by the time our various little arrangements were 
completed, our apartment, which was considered a most spacious 
one, being eight or nine feet square, began to look more snug 
and habitable than I had believed possible. 

Having a stern-cabin, we had the advantage of half the sky- 
light and two stern-windows, which enabled us to enjoy more 
air and light, and be less annoyed by unpleasant odours, than in 
any other part of the vessel. 

Contrary winds rendered our progress very slow for some days, 
and that miserable visitation, sea-sickness, kept me almost wholly 
in my berth, where I lay wearily listening to the novel and 
strange noises all around me, and hearing with some impatience 
of our repeated approaches to the French coast, as we slowly beat 
down the Channel. 

To a novice at sea, every hour, nay, every moment, brings 
some greater or less misery. Even in comparatively still weather, 
the motion of the vessel, however slight, seems almost intolerable, 
and you helplessly roll from side to side of your narrow berth, 
with many a thump and bruise — the best preventive of the latter 
being a pretty tight wedge, consisting of a desk or box, and pil- 
lows. You watch the swing ; tray, cloaks, towels, or whatever else 
is hung up in the cabin, performing various extraordinary gyra- 
tions, that make you most unpleasantly giddy as you contemplate 
the extempore waltzing party, enlivened perhaps by the gentle 
melody of a couple of sailors holy-stoning the deck overhead, and 
you are fain to believe your discomfort at its height ; but be not 
too sanguine ; skylights will sometimes have broken panes, and 
" bull's-eyes "* are notoriously apt to be leaky, in either of which 

* Thick glasses inserted in a ship's deck to light the cabins, and favourite 
spots for people to stand upon when you are reading below. 


cases your toilet, such as it is, or your bed, becomes saturated 
with dirty salt-water. Perhaps a cup of some inexplicable sea- 
compound, called, by a stretch of courtesy, tea or coffee, is 
brought to you, and, with the most laudable intention of convey- 
ing it to your lips, you feel a sudden jerk, and perceive an empty 
cup fast grasped in your trembling hands, and find that its former 
contents are communicating an agreeable warmth and moisture 
to your feet, not much to the improvement of the white counter- 
pane, but greatly to the diversion of your more experienced com- 
panion, who, with provoking coolness, inquires, " Why do you 
pour your breakfast down there ?" 

At length, with a heroism not to be lightly appreciated, you 
resolve to have done playing the invalid, and to go on deck ; in 
an agony of fear, and great dubiousness respecting the relative 
positions of horizontal and perpendicular, you perform a pain- 
ful toilet, and may be considered fortunate in escaping any serious 
hurt. The extraordinary activity of all inanimate articles is a 
great annoyance and puzzle for a while ; nothing can stand still 
where you put it. Every comb and brush seems possessed, going 
jumping about in the most inconvenient manner the moment you 
require them, and are nearly certain to hop into some impossible 
corner, as though on purpose to perplex their distressed and un- 
steady owner in the recovery. When, after all these trials, you 
cautiously open the door, prepared to make a resolute sally to 
the "companion" stairs, ten to one but some unlucky bucket, 
lantern, or other obstacle, lies in wait to embarrass your waver- 
ing steps ; or a sudden lurch of the ship plunges you headlong into 
that singular combination of unpleasantnesses, the steward's pan- 
try ! At length, faint and bewildered, you gain the deck, and 
sink down on the first resting-place you see, glad to feel the fresh 
invigorating breeze, and enjoy the clear cheering sunshine. Such 
at least were my own feelings on this my first voyage, and I 
doubt not that most novices have a like ordeal of the uncom- 
fortable to pass through. 

As soon as I began to recover, and take a glance around, there 
were the faces and aspects of our fellow-passengers to be perused 
with something of anxiety, as it is a point of no trivial import- 
ance on such a voyage, that the few persons with whom you can 
associate, and with whom you cannot avoid coming in daily con- 



tact for four months, should at least be companionable. I cannot 
conceive any situation in life more favourable to the exposure of 
real characters and dispositions than a long- voyage. Assumed 
manners of refinement, counterfeit blandness and courtesy, and, 
in fact, every species and form of affectation, are insensibly for- 
gotten. Those who are really ill-tempered, find so much for their 
humour to feed on, that the surly countenance remains uncontra- 
dicted by the soft and obsequious manner ; the truly vulgar are 
too much engrossed by dear self to seek the favour of others by 
pretended refinement ; and the harmless little arts of " pretty 
virginities," finding how vain is the hope of stimulating to ad- 
miration beings whose every faculty and thought are engrossed 
by their own petty distresses, are fain to reserve their efforts 
for a more favourable season. But when all the counterfeits 
have lost their gilding, the true metal is the precious coin still ; 
and how valuable in so narrow a circle is unfeigned good-temper, 
and that only true politeness which springs from kindness of 
heart, none will perfectly understand who have not had specimens 
of both kinds in their " compagnons de voyage." 

We were fortunate in being able to select a very pleasant circle 
from the small community on board, as one by one they shook 
off the prevalent indisposition, and reduced their unhappy, pale, 
elongated faces to their wonted fair proportions. 

When I came on deck on the 8th day of our voyage, I found 
we were running along the Devonshire coast before a light breeze, 
under as bright a blue sky as ever made England look thrice 
lovely in the eyes of those who were leaving her, perhaps for ever. 
Many vessels which, like ourselves, had been detained by the 
adverse winds, were now in sight, their white wing-like sails 
fairly spread, and taking all advantage of the welcome change. 
Sea-gulls swept majestically by, their arched and outspread wings 
glanciug brightly in the sunlight, and their easy, graceful 
motion seeming a scornful reproach to the unsteady awkward 
movements of such novices at sea as myself. As we neared 
Plymouth, where we had to put in for some passengers, a pilot 
came on board, and the careless yet secure activity with which 
he sprang from his boat up the ship's side and on deck seemed 
worthy of Ducrow himself, unable as / was to go three steps 
without holding on by something. 


I felt quite a respect for that bronzed weather-beaten seaman, 
as I thought of the inestimable services he and his fellows, 'the 
Channel pilots, render both to our own and foreign shipping. 
In rough or foggy weather, when vessels ignorant of the difficult 
navigation of the Channel would, but for their guidance, be inevit- 
ably lost, they are out in their boats braving such seas, that it 
does seem almost miraculous such mere boats can live in them. 
But however stormy the weather or dark the night, there are the 
pilots ready at the known signal to run alongside and leap upon 
the stranger's deck. They are most brave and gallant fellows, 
and many a good ship owes to them the lives of her crew and the 
safety of her rich freight. 

We entered Plymouth Sound in the evening, and for the last 
time watched the sun set on English hills and woods. I felt 
as if to set foot on land only for a few minutes would be the 
greatest imaginable treat ; but we cast anchor so late, that I was 
compelled to forego the pleasure, and sat on deck watching the 
boats as they went ashore, thinking their passengers must be 
almost too happy. A late repast of fresh bread, clean, land- 
made bread, fresh butter, strawberries, and clouted cream, how- 
ever, almost consoled me for my previous disappointment. A 
lucky mortal, permitted to taste the ambrosia of the Gods, would 
not find it half so delicious as would a poor sea-sick creature, a 
victim to the unknown atrocious compounds of a dirty black sea- 
steward, think such a feast as mine ! 

We were up and on deck early the following morning, unwill 
ing to lose a minute's view of the beautiful scenery around. A 
man-of-war, the Hercules, lying in the harbour, sent a boat to 
reconnoitre our crew, greatly to the discomfort and apprehension 
of our captain, but fortunately without depriving him of any 
" hands." I listened to the morning music on board the Hercules, 
and thought that our grand national air, " Rule Britannia," much 
as I ever admired it, never sounded so beautiful as then ; and I 
wept to think I should perhaps never more hear it in my own 
beloved native land. 

We weighed anchor between six and seven o'clock, and in 
passing the Hercules made a polite nautical salutation, by lower- 
ing our royals (an obeisance always expected by ships of war 
from the humbler body of merchantmen) ; and the officer on duty 

LAST LAND. [chap. i. 

ordered the band aft to give us a cheering and melodious farewell 
as we left the harbour. 

We had a fine view for some time of the lovely shores of 
Devon, and of that noble effort of human science and persever- 
ance, the Eddystone Lighthouse. How mean and contemptible, 
beside such a fabric, erected for so great and good a purpose, 
seem by comparison the mere gewgaw palaces of luxury and 
ostentation, so profusely scattered over our fair country ! and 
yet how few, how very few erections of a like kind are there, 
inestimable as is their value in the saving of human life, to say 
nothing of less precious matters !* 

A short time before sunset I went below, intending to return 
on deck and watch the last land fade on the horizon, but on my 
coming to look for it, an envious bank of clouds hung over the 
spot, and totally hid it. Some one began singing, " Isle of 
Beauty, fare thee well !" — had they felt half as much as I did, 
they could not have uttered a single note. 

* Why was not the " Nelson Monument " a Lighthouse ? I can conceive 
no fabric of more grandeur and costliness half so acceptable to the spirit it is 
designed to honour, as the humblest erection devoted to such a service. 

chap, ii.] BAY OF BISCAY. 


Bay of Biscay — Spanish Coast — Employment the best preventive of Ennui — 
Phosphorescence of the Sea— Portuguese Men-of-War — Swallows — Tene- 
rifie — Speaking the Cherub — Fear of Pirates — Porpoises — Flying-Fish 
— Capture of a Boneto — Dolphins. 

TVe were now fairly " at sea," with no chance of any pleasant 
variety of scene, as, unluckily for us, our "good ship Argo" was 
to make a direct passage to Sydney, without touching at any 
intermediate port. Like true philosophers, we consoled ourselves 
by the reflection that, as some compensation for the disappoint-, 
ment, our voyage would be the more speedy from having no in- 
terruption ; though to sail half round the world, and be near so 
many interesting and beautiful spots, of which I had heard and 
read so much, and not to see even one of them — not Madeira, with 
its vine-clad hills — nor TenerifFe, nor even the Cape, that gene- 
ral " half-way house" for poor exiles like ourselves — certainly 
appeared rather hard, and, as I considered it, great waste of time 
and travelling. 

The Bay of Biscay, so renowned in song and story for its 
stormy winds and waves, was happily in a most pacific mood 
when we crossed it with a fair light breeze and sunny weather ; 
and though the fine old song was often quoted at the time, we 
had no disastrous consequences to remind us 

" Of the day 
When we lay 
In the Bay of Biscay !" 

We " sighted " the Spanish and Portuguese coasts, and with 
glasses could discern trees and white houses or cottages ; and as 
wishful imagination converted every green thing into an orangery 
or a vineyard, our distant gazes made us still more anxious for a 
nearer investigation of the good things we fancied there. But 
the inexorable ship sailed on, and hills, vineyards, and cottages 
faded into mist again. 


I passed every day on deck, busy with that most pleasant of all 
" fancy-work," wool embroidery ; and to it I owe my exemption 
from much of the overpowering ennui so general on a long voy- 
age. To study is, I think, impossible, and I very soon disposed 
of all the light reading to be found on board, when compelled by 
illness or bad weather to remain below. But my work-basket 
and frame were my daily companions, and I was often told how 
enviable was my happiness in having something to employ me. 

Many evenings we spent in watching the beautiful phosphoric 
appearance of the sea after dark, and trying to reconcile the 
various theories advanced by naturalists respecting it. That 
it is caused by floating animalcula is the general opinion ; but if 
so, they must be as innumerable as motes in the sunshine, or as 
grains of sand upon the sea-shore, else how are the myriad mil- 
lions of glittering lights to be accounted for that sparkle in a 
single wave ? Some are much larger and brighter than the rest, 
bearing about the same proportion to each other as do stars of 
the first and sixth magnitude, and these larger points may, by 
close watching, be traced for several seconds, whilst the smaller 
ones flash and disappear simultaneously. I know of nothing to 
which I can compare this most beautiful and wonderful appear- 
ance, unless I have recourse to Sindbad's Diamond Valley, and 
beg you to fancy millions of millions of jewel-sparks, and a few 
thousands of larger brilliants, all rapidly whirling and glancing 
in one vivid glittering mass : but even diamonds would not shine 
alone in a dark night, so that simile will not do. The bright 
creatures — if creatures they are — do not seem to extend far down 
into the sea, because I have observed, in looking over the stern, 
that immediately following the rudder there always remained a 
small dark space beyond which the separated waves full of lights 
united again, and formed a long bright pathway on the water in 
the wake of the ship. The phosphoric lights seemed roused to 
life by the passage of the vessel through them ; a fish swimming 
past produced the same effect on a smaller scale ; a bucket of 
water from the brightest part lost all the glittering appearance 
almost instantly when hoisted on deck. The colour of the lights 
was bluish, or just what a purely white light would be, seen 
through the blue water. Perhaps the spray of a "jet d'eau," 
seen in a strong moonlight, would give the best idea of this most 

chap, ii.] PORTUGUESE MEN-OF-WAR. 9 

indescribable phenomenon. I was never weary of watching it, 
and often, after leaving my usual evening-seat by the taffrail, 
could not help returning again and again for one more dazzled, 
earnest gaze. 

I first saw those curious and beautiful little animals the Por- 
tuguese men-of-war, Physalus pelagicus of naturalists, in about 
36° N. lat., and for many days they were very numerous, robbing 
my work of nearly all my attention in gazing at their elegant 
forms and colours. I had a few caught, to examine them more 
closely. They consist of a flat, thin, transparent membrane, 
from one and a half to two inches long, of an oval shape ^ and on 
the upper side of this, down the centre, runs a similar membrane 
standing erect, at right angles with the flat one. A whole wafer 
laid on the table, and the half of another placed edgewise upon 
it (the straight side downwards, of course), will give some idea 
of the form of the animal, or rather of the tiny ship's deck and 
sail. The under part is furnished with several rows of tentacula 
spreading out like a beautiful flower, varying in colour in differ- 
ent specimens, and sometimes even in one, through many shades 
of blue, pink, and soft purple. A slight coloured film also enve- 
lops the transparent membrane above described, giving it a beau- 
tiful iridescent appearance when sailing along in the sunshine. 
By putting them in a basin of sea-water, I was enabled to keep 
and observe them for some time ; but when taken out of their 
natural element, the delicate tentacula shrink and dissolve away 
very soon ; though with care the thin glassy membrane with its 
fragile sail may be permanently preserved by drying. 

Their method of navigation is not the least interesting point to 
notice in these fairy-mariners. I have frequently observed one 
sailing complacently along, his arms, like the many oars of an 
ancient galley, spread around him, and his delicate glassy sail 
set full to the breeze ; when a sudden puff of wind has overset 
him altogether, and plunged the whole fabric under water : the 
next instant he is up again as gay as before, but at first only 
presents his sail edgewise to the wind, and then seems to tack 
about very cautiously, as if to try how much canvas he can 
carry in safety. This may not be really the case, but I have 
watched many do exactly as I describe, and must therefore be- 
lieve in their nautical skill. Like other creatures of their class, 

10 SWALLOWS— TENERIFFE. [chap. ii. 

they no doubt feed on minute mollusca and animalcula, which 
they entrap in their numerous tentacula, or arms. Their lower 
side very much resembles some of the beautiful sea anemones* 
so common on rocks covered at high-water on this coast."]* and, 
from what I remember, there are similar ones on those of 

Some poor little swallows, apparently worn out with fatigue, 
alighted on the rigging one day, and hovered about the ship. 
The sailors caught and tried to feed some of them ; and one that 
flew into our cabin through the stern-window, I endeavoured to 
tempt with soaked biscuit, crumbs, and water, but could not pre- 
vail on my poor little patient to eat anything. I left him alone, 
hoping he would grow more assured, but he escaped, and was 
found lying dead on the deck a day or two after. I imagine the 
poor birds had either been blown off the land, or, having been 
baffled by contrary winds in their migratory voyage, had become 
too much exhausted to fly any farther : no doubt many thousands 
of them must perish at sea from similar causes. I have heard 
Mr. Meredith mention that on his voyage home (to England) in 
1838, a beautiful little bird, of a species he was quite unacquainted 
with, flew on board the ship, and fed greedily on soaked biscuit ; 
so greedily indeed, forgetting the needful precautions to be ob- 
served by starving people, that he literally died from repletion. 

Finding we should pass tolerably near Teneriffe, I became ex- 
tremely anxious for a good day- view of the Peak, and only feared 
sailing by in the night and losing it. We certainly passed by 
day, about midway between Teneriffe and the " Great Canary," 
but the mountain was thickly veiled in clouds, nearly to the 

* Actinia anemone, or Actinia calendula, probably. 

f Oyster Bay, Van Diemen's Land. 

X I believe De Blainville mentions six species of Physalus ; and from 
having seen descriptions of P. pelagicus differing in many points from my 
own observation of the animal, I am induced to believe that various species 
are described as the same by different persons. In the ' Tasmanian Journal 
of Science,' a paper (by A. Sinclair, Esq., Surgeon, R. N.) descriptive of a 
Physalus pelagicus, mentions, among other features I did not observe in it, 
the property of stinging severely, possessed by the tentacula, and retained 
even after the animal has been dried ; also that the water in which it had 
floated had caused violent pain and inflammation in the hands and arms of 
two boys employed to wash out the tub. As I repeatedly handled the speci- 
mens I had caught, both before and after death, and received no injury, there 
must be an essential difference in the species. 

chap, ii.] FEAR OF PIRATES. 11 

water's edge, so that a mere shoal or sandbank had been as fine 
an object. If I could only have seen the merest point of the 
summit, I had not cared ; I sat <l like (im-)patience on a monu- 
ment," wailing for one clear loophole in those gloomy morose 
clouds, but in vain — and I still have to take on credit all the 
grand and inflated descriptions of other more fortunate travellers. 

As I did not at the time think I should ever require any memo- 
randa of our monotonous voyage, I kept no regular " log-book," 
or journal, which now I much regret, as I am without exact data 
for many occurrences. About the beginning of July we spoke 
a homeward-bound vessel, the Cherub, and gladly availed our- 
selves of the opportunity to send letters home. The prudent 
ones had all letters ready written, but I confess I was not one of 
that number, and a few hurried words of love and greeting were 
all the homeward-bound Cherub bore from me. 

There is something peculiarly grand, and withal touching, in 
that meeting of ships on the wide ocean. People who never 
heard of each other before, who might live in the same street of 
the same city for years without knowing each other's face, thus 
meeting on that trackless highway of the world, the sea, look on 
one another as if some mysterious communion between them were 
at once established. I do not mean individually, but generally, 
for, although I might not accurately observe the face of any one 
human being on board that vessel, yet I felt as if they were 
friends whom we had met ; and as she afterwards went on her 
way, and we on ours, I looked after her lessening sails with real 

After being for days and weeks at sea without any object to 
break the line of the horizon, that seems to shut in the same eter- 
nal circle of water, it is absolutely a treat, an indescribable de- 
light to the eye, to see so beautiful an object as a vessel in full 
sail gradually nearing, and so occupying a greater portion of the 
w r earisome sea- view. Everything about her is busily discussed, and 
not unfrequently the inexperienced are gravely informed that she 
is an " ill-looking craft," " a rakish-looking brig," " very much 
the cut of a privateer," &c, and mysterious hints are given 
about muskets, cutlasses, and ammunition, till the well-known 
ensign with its union-jack is seen spreading to the breeze as 
they hoist it on board the stranger, and in reply to " Ship ahoy ! 

12 PORPOISES. [chap. ii. 

What ship's that ?" a gruff English accent, made thrice gruffer 
and rougher by bawling into a speaking-trumpet, informs you 
that the suspicious craft is the Mary or Betsey, or some 
other good old household name, of London or Liverpool, bound 

from ; whereupon the captain of our ship returns a 

like series of explanations, latitudes and longitudes are compared, 
and the interview closes. 

As we neared the line, I confess I used to pay most especial 
attention to the various conjectures raised on the approach of a 
strange sail, especially if those learned in such matters seemed 
suspicious of her aspect or manoeuvres ; but I am most happy to 
say I have no thrilling narratives of fearful engagements or 
providential escapes to relate, as we were never molested by any 
of the piratical fraternity. This was fortunate, as our ship, like 
most merchantmen, carried her guns snugly and securely stowed 
away in the hold along with her cargo ; which arrangement, 
though doubtless originating in a praiseworthy care of her means 
of defence, was not exactly calculated to facilitate the use of them, 
had it been needed. A few rusty muskets, and some pistols of 
most pacific temperaments, were ostentatiously ranged round the 
mizen-mast in the mess-cabin ; but, like the broken teacups on 
the alehouse chimney-piece, were, I fear, only " kept for show." 

Porpoises were a frequent source of amusement to me ; for I 
exceedingly enjoy watching their ponderous gaiety as they leap 
and flounce about, and the agility with which they bound out of 
the water is most astonishing. We often saw them leap as high 
as the fore-yard, and I used to think they would fairly alight on 
the forecastle ; but I fancy they knew better than to trust their 
lives and oleaginous bodies to the tender mercies of the sailors, 
who would infallibly have despatched and eaten them very 
speedily. Prodigious shoals of them often crossed our track, 
and might be seen in thousands gambolling as far as their black 
bodies were visible above the water. My admiration of their 
elephantine frolics became so well known, that if I chanced to 
be below when a shoal was seen, I immediately received a mes- 
sage informing me of the event, and lost no time in hastening 
to see the sport. 

What a contrast to the unwieldy monsters I have just men- 
tioned are the elegant little flying-fish (Exocetus volitans) ! 

chap, ii.] FLYING-FISH. 13 

I had no idea they were so beautiful, having been misled by bad 
engravings, which represented them as thin, shrivelled, starved- 
looking things, while in reality they are beautifully proportioned, 
and quite plump, with shining bluish silvery scales, that flash 
brightly as they glance in the sun. They are about nine or ten 
inches long, the pectoral fins, or wings, about six inches, and 
capable of expanding to about three inches and a half at the 
broadest part ; and from tip to tip, when spread, must measure 
above twelve inches. The eyes are remarkably large and fine, 
giving an expression to the head more like the glance of a bird 
than a fish ; " fishy eyes" being proverbially dull and lustreless. 
Only one fell on board, which was brought to me, and, injustice 
to the memory of the poor defunct, I must confess that, after pre- 
serving his wings and tail, I found his remains very delicate 

So many arguments have been held with respect to these 
curious creatures, as to whether they really fiy, that is, flutter 
and turn in the air, or merely leap from the top of one wave to 
fall on the top of another, that nothing but positive proof could 
induce me to say a word on the subject. I have attentively 
observed them rise from the water, flutter their fins rapidly, not 
unlike a lark when first rising ; then sail along a short time, turn, 
at various angles from their course, whether in a breeze or calm ; 
and, after being many seconds in the air, dip again into the sea, 
preparatory to another flight. I have continually mistaken them 
for birds, being quite deceived by their fluttering motion, so 
different from what I should have supposed any fish capable of. 
Some very eminent naturalists affirm that they can neither turn 
nor flutter ; having seen them do both repeatedly, I am greatly 
inclined to differ from them in opinion, and to suppose that they 
must have observed these beautiful little creatures under some 
circumstances which prevented or disguised their real move- 

With all their beauty and accomplishments, the poor little 
flying-fish seem to lead a most restless and unhappy life. As 
they swim through the sea, the swift and hungry boneto pursues 
them with a keen and deadly purpose, seeming quite as well 
aware as myself of their delicate flavour; the dolphin also 
wages war against them ; and the moment they quit the water to 

14 CAPTURE OF A BONETO. [chap. ii. 

escape these ravenous foes, a voracious sea-bird is nearly sure to 
pounce upon some of the quivering fugitives. 

We were sailing for three days through shoals of boneto, and 
all kinds of murderous devices were adopted for the capture of 
some, but to no purpose. Fish-hooks, harpoons, &c, were all 
in request, and the excitement became extreme, to see shoals of 
fish all around, darting hither and thither in hundreds, all " fit 
to eat," as the sailors declared, and none to be got ! It was 
terribly exciting, and figures might be seen in every direction, 
attired in all imaginable variety of costume, and in more than 
every imaginable attitude, most perseveringly hurling among and 
hauling in again their innocent weapons. At last, Mr. Meredith, 
who had constantly told them it was of no use, that the fish were 
scarcely ever taken, &c, went out on the lower studding-sail 
boom with a grains (a large strong fork of five barbed points) 
and a long line attached ; he had scarcely sat five minutes, when 
he struck and hauled up a fine boneto, to the exceeding great 
delight of the spectators, whose mania for the sport was tenfold 
increased by the seeming ease of the achievement. But it was 
a lucky accident that was not repeated by any one, and Mr. 
Meredith, being quite satisfied with having caught one, did not 
make another attempt. 

It was a large handsome fish, very much the shape of a salmon, 
and presenting a succession of rich iridescent colours, such as 
are described in the dolphin when dying. It was cooked, and 
served, at least part of it, at our table ; but being fried, and 
rather dry and hard, it was not much admired. 

I was extremely curious to see a real live dolphin, for my 
ideas of the creature were such a singular medley of classical- 
picture dolphins as big as calves, with fat tritons astride upon 
them ; and spouting-fountain dolphins, much of the same charac- 
ter, with heads bored like the rose of a watering-pot ; and public- 
house sign-board dolphins, something between St. George's 
dragon, and a legless, curly-tailed pig — that I wished to have 
my wavering notions somewhat settled : and one bright day in 
the tropics, as we lay becalmed or nearly so, I was leaning over 
the vessel's side, looking deep, deep into the bluest of all blue 
water, clear and bright as crystal, when three fish, of a kind 
quite new to me, came close to the ship, swimming to and fro, as 

chap, ii.] DOLPHINS. 15 

if examining the state of our coppering ; some one said very 
quietly, " Hush ! those are dolphins," and so I guessed, but not 
from any resemblance they bore to my ancient friends of the 
name. These were really very beautiful ; their size I cannot 
accurately tell, for I found myself so often deceived in the rela- 
tive proportion of things seen in a similar manner. The boneto, as 
it swam past, only seemed to me the size of a large mackerel, and 
when brought on deck I found it exceeded that of a salmon. The 
dolphins might be four feet long, or more, of a slender shape, 
with a head rather blunt than pointed, but not in the least heavy 
or clumsy-looking : on the contrary, I never saw anything more 
elegant than their form and motion ; their long bodies, as they 
swam, making a perfect " line of beauty " of several curves, and 
their large fins and tails waving like fans in the water. 

Their colour appeared a delicate silvery blue, deepening by 
parts into purple ; and as they partially turned up their bright 
sides to the sun, a gleam of prismatic colours gave evidence of 
there being at least some truth in the story of their rainbow hues 
when dying. 

Much to my satisfaction, no attempt was made to capture any 
of these ; I noticed them for some time sporting round the ves- 
sel, and then they passed on, having most permanently established 
my faith in the beauty of the dolphin and the ignorance of his 
carvers and limners. 

16 CALM IN THE TROPICS. [chap. in. 


Calm in the Tropics — Sharks— Turtle — Ianthina — Shovel-board—" Crossing 
the Line " — Loss of the North Star — Southern Constellations — Moonlight 
in the Tropics — Sunsets — Waterspouts — " Sundogs." 

A calm at sea in the tropics, though by no means desirable 
for a continuance, is yet very beautiful for a short time ; one 
may well endure a few hours' delay, even in such a climate, for 
the sake of observing the novel expression of the face of nature. 
The usually restless sea, the very emblem of life and vigour, 
seems in a deep slumber ; not a ripple nor the tiniest wave that 
ever broke ruffles its glassy smoothness ; it might now serve to 
typify death rather than life, but for a slow, long, heavy swell, 
that seems to lift up the drowsy waters as it rolls along ; now 
and then the peculiar dorsal fin of a shark cuts through the still, 
sluggish mass, or a turtle, fast asleep, floats by, basking in the 
fervid sunshine. 

On such a day as this, when every one felt particularly dis- 
posed to envy the fishes, and the life of a frog in a cool brook 
seemed the height of luxury, a boat was lowered, and a party of 
five, including Mr. Meredith, put off a considerable distance for 
the purpose of bathing, though the ostensible reason was " merely 
to see how the ship looked." I sat at work under the awning, 
looking from time to time at the boat, until it was so far away 
that the swell hid it from my view, and then heard those who 
could still see it from the shrouds say that the five were bathing, 
and some of them far away from the boat, among whom I very 
justly supposed was my husband, from his being an excellent 

The next instant one of the men aloft screamed out, " Oh 
God ! there are two large sharks close to them !" My feelings may 
perhaps be imagined — certainly not expressed. The probability 
was that the swell would hide the monsters from their victims 

ohap. in.] SHARKS— I ANTHINA. 17 

until too late for escape. / could see the sharks, which were on 
the top of a swell, but not the boat, which lay in the hollow 
beyond ; and, almost wild with terror, joined my weak voice to 
the shouts of warning sent from the ship, till I heard the welcome 
cry, " They are all safe." The bathers had not seen the sharks 
till after they returned to the boat, when immediately the huge 
monsters rose alongside and followed for some distance, doubtless 
in the hope of another chance, in which, I scarcely need say, 
they were disappointed. 

Several turtle were seen that day : the boating party nearly 
captured a large one, but it escaped ; with a smaller one they 
were more adroit, finding it soundly 

" Sleeping on the water, 
And by good fortune, gliding softly, caught her," 

much to the satisfaction of the " gastronomes ;" but either the 
cook or the turtle was deficient in good qualities, for it was 
greatly inferior to the same article as dressed on shore. 

During the morning's excursion many of those beautiful and 
delicate shells the lanthina fragilis were observed floating 
about. Mr. Meredith brought me two fine ones with the animal 
in, and I put them in a basin of sea- water to observe them. The 
head of the creature, instead of being close to the aperture of 
the shell, seemed some distance within, half a whorl at least, and 
the intervening space filled by a quantity of bubbly membrane, 
which likewise protruded from the aperture, of a deep violet 
colour ; the shell was a lighter shade of the same lovely hue, and 
on removing the animal from it after death, my hands were so 
deeply stained with purple that it was some days before they 
lost the marks. The bubbles, which occupied the mouth of the 
shell, appeared only filled with air, and I supposed them to be 
employed by the creature as a float ; most probably he has the 
power of discharging the air from them (in the same way that 
the nautilus is supposed to do, from the inner chambers of his 
shell) when he wishes to sink, although I did not observe any 
effort of the kind ; but very possibly some of the delicate organs 
might have been injured, and their power destroyed, before the 
fragile things reached me. 

Every one remembers the wise and cogent reason which 
worthy " Master Slender " assigns for his " not abiding the smell 


18 CROSSING THE LINE. [chap. hi. 

of roast meat," namely, that he once" broke his shins when play- 
ing at shovel-board with a master^of fence for a dish of stewed 
prunes ;" but perhaps many, like myself, have been long in igno- 
rance of the nature of this renowned game. One of our friends 
on board having proposed it as a good amusement in calm days, 
and when the ship was tolerably steady, it became very popular 
among the gentlemen, and proved a source of much diversion to 
me as a looker-on. 

A square of about three feet diameter, divided into nine small 
squares, is chalked on the deck, forward, and a figure marked 
in each square, from 1 up to 9. The players have each two 
or three " boards," being circular pieces of inch-thick wood, 
about four inches wide ; these are thrown slidingly along the 
deck, and of course aimed at the highest numbers ; if they are 
lucky enough to rest there, the next player endeavours to shovel 
them out, and leave his own in ; those counting most at the end 
winning the game. Any one standing in the way of a well- 
thrown shovel-board, and feeling the keenness of the blow, will 
fully commiserate poor Master Slender's mischance. 

As we neared the " line," many grave discussions were held 
as to the degree of licence to be allowed the sailors in their usual 
commemorative sports on the occasion of crossing it ; and poor 
Neptune's humble and complimentary petition lay so long unan- 
swered at head-quarters, that few or no preparations were made 
among the crew. Unfortunately the harmony and good feeling 
which uninterruptedly pervaded our own especial " coterie " was 
far from universal in the small community on board ; and any 
general participation in the mummery and somewhat rough usage 
of the sea-king's visit was therefore refused, the maskers being 
forbidden to come on the quarter-deck. 

This being understood, the usual ceremony of Neptune's hail- 
ing the ship was effectively performed overnight, the god taking 
his departure in a fiery chariot, which matter-of-fact people will 
persist in explaining to be only a tar-barrel lighted and set afloat. 
The next day his Majesty, gorgeously attired in a painted canvas 
crown, and robes to correspond, with a magnificent display of 
oakum in the shape of hair and beard, accompanied by his secre- 
tary, chaplain, coachman, and other general officers of state 
similarly accoutred, approached the quarter-deck, on which we 

chap, in.] LOSS OF THE NORTH STAR, 19 

were all assembled, and made a very clever speech. Mr. Mere- 
dith, as spokesman of our party, replied with due form and 
etiquette, and begged to offer, as a token of our allegiance and 
duty, a tribute of certain monies, which his Majesty most 
graciously ordered his secretary to receive with all due acknow- 
ledgments. Mr. Meredith then ventured a supposition that his 
Majesty was fond of sporting, and expressed a hope that he was 
not much annoyed by poachers in his kingdom. — " Why, no, sir," 
replied the god, " not much ; but you know, sir, there are some 
daring rascals who don't care whose fish they catch ;" and in the 
laugh that followed this attack on the captor of the boneto, his 
Majesty and suite, which included a nondescript dragon-like 
monster, with a very extensive canvas tail, whom Neptune 
termed his dog, turned towards their allotted scene of action ; 
and the uproar and riot that followed, caused by the determined 
resistance of the " intermediate " passengers to his godship's 
baptismal ceremonies of shaving and washing, soon drove me to 
my own cabin, where I remained till order was restored. 

Our Neptune on the occasion was a fine tall fellow, usually 
known as " Long Bill," who had served some years in a man-of- 
war, and was a general favourite on board ; and being rather a 
genius in his way, would no doubt have " got up " the " masque" 
much more effectively, had he known it would be permitted. 

We happened to cross the line on my birth-day, July 20th, so 
chat I began my new year in a new hemisphere. 

Among the many strange changes which a passage from one 
side of the world to the other has shown me, I do not know one 
thing that I felt so much as the loss of the North Star. Night 
after night I watched it, sinking lower — lower ; and the well-known 
" Great Bear " that I had so gazed at even from a child, that it 
seemed like the face of an old friend, was fast going too ; it was 
like parting from my own loved home-faces over again. I 
thought of so many times and places associated in my mind with 
those bright stars; of those who had gazed on them beside me, 
some of whom had for ever passed from earth, — and of the rest, 
who might say that we should ever meet again ? Those stars 
seemed a last link uniting us, but it was soon broken— they sunk 
beneath the horizon, and the new constellations of the southern 
hemisphere seemed to my partial eyes far less splendid. 



The Magellanic clouds made me constantly wish for a view of 
their starry hosts through a good astronomical telescope, as I be- 
lieve they are among the " resolvable " nebulae. The southern 
portion of the galaxy, too, is very beautiful, tracing its double 
path of glory over the heavens, and showing so much brighter 
in the clear atmosphere of the tropics. The Southern Cross 
scarcely satisfied my expectations : I hardly knew myself what 
those were, but it seemed less clearly defined than the celestial 
maps had represented it. I think many other groups of stars 
form quite as perfect crosses. But the crowning glory of tropi- 
cal nights is the moon. I remember an enthusiastic friend, on his 
return from the shores of the Mediterranean, telling me I had 
never seen moonlight — that there never was such a thing in 
England ; and I now began to believe him. There is certainly 
as much difference between moonlight in England and in the 
tropics, as between twilight and sunshine. The full flood of 
radiance that is shed on every object renders all as plainly visible 
as in broad noon-day, but the soft colour of the light is delight- 
fully refreshing to the eye wearied by the insupportable glare of 
a tropical sun. It almost seemed as if we ought to follow the 
moon's bright example, and " turn night into day," for it was by 
far the pleasantest time to be awake. 

Having an excellent common telescope, we enjoyed tracing 
out the well-known map of the moon's disc, much more clearly 
than I ever saw it before. The same glass enabled us to observe 
well the belts and satellites of Jupiter, the moon-like form of 
Venus, and, more indistinctly, Saturn and his ring. We fre- 
quently "saw beautiful meteors and " shooting stars ; " and the 
bright silent lightning, flashing in the horizon, beguiled many a 
weary half-hour. 

The sunsets too ! the indescribably glorious sunsets, so swiftly 
changing, and so splendid in every change, were among my con- 
stant enjoyments. Pen and ink are vain to tell their wondrous 
beauty ; nothing but the pencils of Turner or Danby, in their 
most inspired moods, could give a shadow of it. I remember one 
evening a most singular appearance ; a dense bank of dark clouds 
had totally obscured the sun whilst yet high in the heavens, and 
behind which he sunk, leaving, as a record of his past glory, 
golden lines traced on the higher ridges of the thick vapoury screen. 

chap, in.] WATERSPOUTS. 21 

Some minutes afterwards a strange light gleamed redly forth ; 
and on looking towards the sunset clouds, we saw, as through 
small windows in the dark wall, close to the water's edge, the 
sun's fiery eye, glaring along the sea in a track of molten flame. 
The effect was as strange as it was new to me ; and we never 
after saw a similar appearance. 

Frequently the sunset sky seemed a celestial " Field of the 
Cloth of Gold," with regal banners of purple streaming across 
it. At other times bright landscapes of fairy cloud-realms 
spread forth, where 

" Hills above hills, and Alps on Alps arose," 

glowing in gem-like hues, as fleeting as they were fair. How 
often have I exclaimed, " This is the loveliest sunset we have 
had !" for all were so beautiful, the present one seemed ever the 

We had comparatively few of the heavy falls of rain common 
in the tropics, but one day they visited us pretty liberally, in 
sudden squalls, between which the sun blazed out with double 
intensity. On that day several waterspouts appeared, traversing 
the sea with great velocity, but fortunately they only permitted 
us a distant view of their dangerous performances. One seemed 
to travel a considerable way in the wake of the ship, and we 
almost feared would overtake us. We could clearly see the 
column of whirling water, ending in a cloud above, and the 
churning foam at its base, as it rapidly advanced, but it appa- 
rently dispersed in a sudden squall that crossed its path. 

Many of the appearances called by sailors "sun dogs " occurred 
during the showery weather. They exhibit the prismatic colours, 
and I used to think them portions of rainbows, which they ex- 
actly resemble, but are broad and short, and always rest on the 
water. A lunar rainbow was seen one evening, but it was fast 
fading before I observed it, and had then but little more colour 
than a halo. 

It is curious to notice how much more we observe the aspects 
and objects of the sea and sky when our own especial ele- 
ment, the earth, is absent from our view ; how much more de- 
sirous we feel to cultivate our acquaintance with the sun, moon, 
and stars ; the clouds, rainbows, meteors ; the ocean and its 

22 MONOTONY AT SEA. [chap. hi. 

mighty mysteries, when thus severed from accustomed scenes, 
pursuits, and speculations. In the monotony of all days at sea, 
any variation is an event ; a new fish seen swimming by, or an 
oddly shaped cloud, makes a white day in one's calendar ; and 
the remembrance of their comparative greatness at the time has 
perhaps caused me to invest with undue importance many trivial 
matters scarcely worth the recital. 

chap, iv.] WHALES AND JETS-D'EAU. 23 


Whales and " jets-d'eau " — Birds— Boatswain— Boobies— Cape Pigeon- 
Mischief of Idleness— " Mr. Winkles" at Sea— Great Albatross— Nelly- 
Stormy Petrel— Blue Petrel— Sailors' Delicacies— Stormy Weather. 

Very different from the doubtful notions I held about dolphins 
were my ideas of a whale as seen at sea, for in the representation 
of these huge monsters of the deep, all painters and gravers are 
unanimous in opinion, and alike in their mode of portraiture. Ac- 
cordingly I knew perfectly well, when summoned from my cabin 
by the report of a whale being in sight, that I should behold an 
enormous black mass standing far out of the water, with a huge 
semicircular mouth surmounted by two trumpet-like apertures, 
from which a double stream of clear water was perpetually flung 
some forty or fifty feet into the air, falling again in a graceful 
curve, precisely like the "jets-d'eau" in ancient gardens. With 
such a foregone conclusion as to what was to be seen, I came on 
deck, and gazed round in search of the living fountain I describe ; 
my inability to discover it being rendered tenfold more vexatious 
by hearing the sailors and others exclaim, " There she spouts !" 
" She spouts again !" till Mr. Meredith, seeing me vacantly scan- 
ning the whole horizon, drew my attention to one particular 
spot, where, after looking intently for about a minute, I observed 
something like a puff of steam rise gently from the water ; and 
this was the spouting of a whale ! Many a time since have I 
laughed at the recollection, but the shock my faith then received 
it will never recover, nor shall I ever forget the useful lesson 
1 then learned, not to take too much on credit. 

This absurd habit which people have got into, of depicting the 
whale as spouting distinct .streams of water to such a height, 
though it may have originated in ignorance, cannot in these 
days of universal knowledge be permitted that apology for its 
continuance. But having once created so charming a fiction, I 
imagine these good folks are loth to rob the poor whales of the 


childish admiration our school-book pictures receive, and so 
doubtless they will spout steeple high till the whole real race is 
extinct — a palpable proof of the triumph of romance over reality. 

The spout-holes are simply the nostrils of the animal, and 
when, as he swims along, these chance to be below the surface of 
the water at the moment he breathes, the act of respiration blows 
the water from within and above the nostrils into the air in the 
form of vapour or steam. 

The only time when anything like a stream proceeds from the 
blow- holes is when the creature is severely wounded ; then he 
sometimes spouts blood. Frequently a thin haze is observed by 
whalers blowing along the sea, like the foamy crest of a wave 
scudding before the wind ; and following back the course of this 
with the eye, the " blow" of a whale is often observed, sending 
off these whiffs of vapour. If seen between the boats and the 
shore, an inexperienced person would often mistake it for smoke 
on land. 

A parasitical polype, peculiar to the whale, is generally found 
firmly attached to the skin of the animal when full-grown, espe- 
cially about the head and lips ; but it is a curious fact, and one 
which I do not remember ever to have seen noticed, that at 
the time of birth (and even previously) the young whales are 
marked with exact impressions or scars, of the precise form of 
the polypes, in those parts where afterwards the real parasites 
invariably appear. 

We had hitherto seen very few birds ; one day a beautiful 
white one, with two very long tail-feathers, flew over and round 
the ship, and many murderous proposals were made by the idlers 
to shoot it ; but my entreaties for its life, strengthened by the 
superstitious warnings of the sailors, who seemed to regard it as 
a good omen of something or other, preserved the poor thing, 
and I had the happiness of seeing it fly away unharmed. It was 
the boatswain, or frigate-bird. We only saw that one bird of the 
kind during the passage, and certainly it was the most beautiful 
as well as the rarest of our feathered visitants. 

Soon afterwards two or three boobies paid us a flying call, very 
possibly to see some relatives on board ; of course the ties of 
affinity preserved them from molestation. Lord Byron, in his 
inimitable description of Juan's shipwreck, very aptly associates 

chap, iv.] CAPE PIGEONS. 

the noddy with the boobies, but no noddy accompanied ours, that 
I am aware of. 

We fell in with numbers more of the feathered people, as we 
increased our distance from the equator ; most abundant were 
the Cape pigeons, or " passenger's friend" {Procellaria Capen- 
sis). Had the sobriquet been " passenger's victim" it had been 
far more appropriate, for it appears the universal custom — shame 
on those who make it so ! — to massacre these poor harmless and 
really beautiful birds for the mere wanton love of destruction. 
Every one possessed of a gun, powder, and shot aids in the 
slaughter, or at least does his worst ; and besides the killed, I 
have watched many and many a poor wounded bird, disabled 
from flying or procuring food, float helplessly away to perish in 
pain and starvation, because some heartless blockhead had no other 
resource to kill time than breaking its leg or wing. Often did I 
think of the line in the good old nursery hymn, 

" For Satan finds some mischief still 
For idle hands to do ;" 

and never was its truth more fully exemplified. 

Hooks, baited with pork, were also used to fish for them ; but 
as very few were caught in this manner, it proved a far more 
harmless amusement, and the exhibition of their natural voracity, 
which it occasioned, somewhat dulled one's sympathy with them. 
The moment a freshly-baited hook was flung astern, a crowd of 
pigeons would assemble round it, flying, swimming, scuffling 
through the water, as the tempting morsel skipped along the sur- 
face, scolding and driving each other away with most expressive 
cries. Very probably a great albatross is watching the result, as 
he hovers with a still, solemn aspect above the bustling, squabbling 
crowd. The pigeons succeed in pulling the pork from the hook, 
and the tumult is redoubled when, in the heat of the battle, the 
booty is dropped, and the wary albatross, with a sudden and sure 
plunge, relieves them from all further contention by appropriat- 
ing the dainty morsel to his own use. Such a scene is acted 
twenty times a day ; sometimes the bird greedily swallows the 
bait and hook together, and flies high into the air, whence the 
fisher gradually winds him down ; but this is no warning to the 
survivors, who are as eager for the next throw of the treacherous 
bait as if none of their number had suffered by its deception. 

26 "MR. WINKLES" AT SEA. [chap. iv. 

The Cape pigeon is a small kind of albatross, much larger in 
the body than a pigeon, and with a great span of wing for its 
size. The plumage is white, beautifully marked with black on 
the back and wings, and their black eyes have a very peculiar, 
but soft and pleasing expression. The various attitudes of a 
group of these pretty birds, as they are seen closely following 
the ship — some swimming, others sitting on the water, or run- 
ning along it with outspread wings, or just lighting down — are 
really very graceful and beautiful, and were a constant source of 
amusement to me, whenever their valorous enemies allowed them 
a truce. 

A sportsman of the "Winkles" school is quite dangerous 
enough on shore, but when to all the awkwardness of such cha- 
racters is added their utter helplessness at sea, and their inva- 
riable rule of stumbling along, with a loaded gun on full cock 
aimed directly at the nearest person's head, it may easily be con- 
ceived what perilous chances occur. Of this class were several 
violent specimens on board our vessel, all most determined, but 
most innocent foes of the unfortunate pigeons, as it most fre- 
quently happened that they hit a rope or a sail, instead of the 
bird, having no idea of allowing for the motion of the vessel. 
The appearance of these gentry on the quarter-deck, weapon in 
hand, soon became my signal of retreat. 

The Cape pigeons are very rarely met with beyond their pecu- 
liar track, which extends from 35° to 55° south latitude, within 
which boundaries they encircle the globe as with a living zone. 

The great white albatross {Diomedia exulans) fully realized 
all my ideas of its grandeur and solemnity. I never saw it 
without thinking of Coleridge's wild and wondrous tale of the 
" Ancient Mariner ;" nor can there possibly be any creature 
more fitted to take part in such a dread and ghostly narrative 
than this melancholy, grave, and most majestic bird. It soars 
along with widely-expanded wings that often measure fifteen or 
eighteen feet between the tips, with an even, solemn flight, rarely 
seeming to stir, but as if merely floating along. Now and then 
a slow flapping motion serves to raise him higher in the air, but 
the swift movement and busy flutter of other birds seem beneath 
his dignity. He sails almost close to you, like a silent spectre. 
Nothing of life appears in his still, motionless form, but his keen 

chap, iv.] ALBATROSSES— PETRELS. 27 

piercing eye, except that occasionally his head turns slightly, 
and betrays a sharp, prying expression, that somewhat shakes 
your belief in the lordly indifference he would fain assume ; and 
if you fling overboard a piece of rusty pork, the disenchantment 
is complete, and you see that long curiously-crooked beak exer- 
cising its enormous strength in an employment so spectral a 
personage could scarcely be suspected of indulging. There is 
another kind of albatross, nearly as large as the " great" one, 
with a small portion of black on its wings, that appears exactly 
similar in habits to its more renowned relative ; but these pied 
ones are more numerous. 

Another kind, that the sailors called " Nelly" (Diomedia 
fuliginosa ?), of a dusky, smoky hue, was very abundant, and, 1 
am sorry to say, very frequently destroyed, although, by the 
great thickness of the plumage or some other protecting cause, 
their lives were often most strangely preserved. After falling 
plump into the water, to all appearance shot dead, many would 
float away a short distance, and then, turning ©ver to their 
proper position, perting up the head, and giving their wings an 
experimental flutter, as if to ascertain that no damage was done, 
away they flew unharmed, greatly to my delight and the con- 
fusion of their enemies. These surprising resuscitations gained 
for them with us the name of " immortals." 

All the various species of albatross have the same kind of 
expressive eye I mentioned in describing the Cape pigeon ; a 
gentle, yet withal shrewd glance, and in some a few darker 
feathers round the eye, add to the soft expression, just as long 
dark eyelashes do in a human face. 

What the flying-fish is, compared with the porpoise, such is 

the light, swift little petrel beside the slow, solemn albatross. 

Glancing, dipping, skimming about, or running along the water 

with half-spread wings, they are all life and activity : 

" Up and down, up and down, 

" From the base of the waves to the billow's crown ;" 

they appear mere happy little birds ; whilst those awful, fune- 
real creatures give one the idea of unhappy disembodied spirits, 
condemned to sail about these inhospitable seas till their penance 
is done. 

There are two species of petrel in the vicinity of the Cape : one, 

28 SAILORS' DELICACIES. [chap. iv. 

the common kind, is nearly black, and, I believe, is the same 
which frequents the northern British islands ; the other, far more 
beautiful, is a very delicate blue, and more slight in form than 
the dark one. The two kinds keep in separate flocks, and I 
could only obtain a good view of the blue ones with a glass, as 
they are very shy, and never ventured near the ship — a very wise 

Nothing comes amiss to sailors in the way of eatables ; nor, 
when we consider the wretched fare on which they usually sub- 
sist in merchant vessels, can their ready adoption of anything 
that promises a variety create surprise. The rank, oily, dis- 
gustingly high-scented sea-birds that were caught by the passen- 
gers, were all begged and eaten by the crew. One day a very 
large gull or albatross was handed over to them, and duly 
demolished; and on some one's inquiring how it tasted, a steerage 
passenger very gravely declared it to be " very like partridge !" 
When the bird came on deck, quantities of pure oil poured from 
its beak, — and then to hear of its eating " like partridge I" 

Very soon after passing the Cape, wet, cold, stormy weather set 
in, and banished me from my accustomed place on deck to my 
cabin, where, with dead-lights securely stopping the stern- win- 
dows and the skylight closely shut, I slept away as much of the 
weary day as I could, and sat shivering in cloaks and furs the 
remainder, for there was not a stove on board. That ivas a 
weary time; tremendous gales blowing, seas being constantly 
shipped, and streaming into the mess-cabin, though rarely into 
ours ; the galley-fire continually being put out ; and, worst of all, 
the ship rolling and pitching so violently that one would think 
each plunge must be her last. Often in the night, when the 
roaring din around drove away all chance of sleep, I have had a 
light struck to lie awake by, the darkness seemed so terrible amid 
those horrid noises. The howling and screaming of the wind, 
the roaring and dashing water sounding close in one's ears, and 
every part of the vessel complaining, in its own particular tone 
of creaking, cracking, or groaning, made up such a frightful 
uproar, that it seemed sometimes as if a whole legion of fiends 
were aboard. 

Frequent terrific crashes among the crockery and glass ware 
produced crashes of words, not " writ in choice Italian," but 

chap, iv.] STORMY WEATHER. 29 

spoken in a rough and wrathful tone, from captain and steward ; 
the result being a sad diminution of cups and wine-glasses. Such 
was our dilapidated condition, that two or three old powder- 
canisters and preserve-jars formed the entire drinking equipage 
of the cabin table, when the last wine-glass, long the innocent 
cause of direst jealousy, was lamentably broken. Being rich in 
the possession of two small white respectable-looking marmalade 
jars, we took especial care of our valuable " breakfast service," 
and, until one of our treasures went to pieces in a squall, were 
the envy of our less fortunate fellow-voyagers ; but this general 
poverty in conveniences was productive of so much merriment, 
that I doubt if the finest services of china and cut-glass would 
have served half as well to while away the slowly passing time. 
A little wit, as of any other good thing, must go a great way at 
sea, where any change of the too-often grumbling tone of conver- 
sation is acceptable. 

It is very common for people to talk and write of waves run- 
ning " mountains high," but I confess I always used to make a 
very liberal allowance for exaggeration and imagery in these 
cases ; and I well remember once joining in the laugh of incre- 
dulity, when a gentleman told myself and other young people 
that he had seen waves of which two would fill the breadth of 
the Menai Strait, where we then were. I had not then been a 
long voyage myself; I had not looked and trembled at the scene 
I witnessed one Sunday morning after a two days' gale, during 
which I had remained below. The wind had abated considerably, 
but we could only carry a close-reefed mainsail, and were 
"scudding" along. Any attempt to describe the vast, awful 
grandeur of the scene seems absurd— it is so impossible for any- 
thing but the eye itself to represent it to the mind ; I feel dizzy 
with the mere remembrance. 

When I came on deck, the ship lay as in an immense valley of 
waters, with huge waves, mountain waves, indeed (one of which 
would have flooded both shores of the Menai), circling us all 
around : then slowly we seemed to climb the ascent, and, poised 
on the summit of the rolling height, could look along the dark and 
dreary waste of ocean heaving with giant billows far and wide ; 
then, plunging down into the next frightful abyss, the labouring 
vessel seemed doomed ; — I fancied already the rush of water in 

30 STORMY WEATHER. [chap. iv. 

my ears, when, with a violent pitch and shudder, the ship bounded 
along again, over another mountain, and down another valley, 
in long and slow succession again and again, till I grew accus- 
tomed to the scene, and could gaze without thinking I looked 
upon our vast and miserable grave. 

There were the ghost-like albatrosses sailing solemnly above 
the tops of the towering billows, or diving beside us into the 
yawning gulf, — sailing about with the same unruffled plumes, 
the same quiet, wary eye, and majestic demeanour, that they wore 
in the brightest calm. Who could doubt their supernatural 
attributes ? Certainly not a spirit-chilled landswoman, with Cole- 
ridge's magic legend perpetually repeating itself to her. I wish 
some of its good and beautiful lines were as familiar and impres- 
sive in the minds and thoughts of others as they are in mine : — 

" Farewell, farewell — but this I tell 
To thee, thou wedding guest ! 
He prayeth well, who loveth well 
Both man and bird and beast. 

He prayeth best, who loveth best 

All things, both great and small ; 
For the dear God, who loveth us, 

He made and loveth all." 

chap, v.] ISLAND OF ST. PAUL'S. 31 


Island of St. Paul's — Islands in Bass's Straits — Mutton-birds— Botany Bay 
Heads — General Excitement — Heads of Port Jackson — Scenery — New Zea- 
landers — First sight of Sydney — Pull ashore — Comforts of Land Life — 
George Street, Sydney — The Domain — Eucalyptus, &c. — Wooloomooloo — 
Government Gardens. 

A view of the little volcanic island of St. Paul's was the only 
thing that served to vary the tedium of our stormy passage across 
the Indian Ocean ; and our view being rather a distant one, the 
only benefit we derived from it was the introduction of a new 
topic of conversation. — I believe excellent fish are very abundant 
there; and, as the story goes, you may stand and pull your 
dinner out of the cold salt-water with one hand, and drop it into 
a hot fresh spring to cook with the other ! I know not if the re- 
nowned Baron Munchausen ever visited St. Paul's, but this savours 
something of his quality. A few wild pigs are there now likewise ; 
but the island is a mere volcanic rock, or rather the crater of an 
extinct volcano, with no trees or bushes, and but very scanty 
vegetation of any kind. The hot springs show that volcanic 
agency is still busy there. 

Violent gales, cold and rainy weather, were long our portion, 
but a favourable change occurred in time to decide our route to 
be through Bass's Straits, which would not have been prudent in 
the more boisterous weather ; and the longer passage round Van 
Diemen's Land seemed an intolerable prolongation of our most 
irksome captivity. 

Never shall I forget the feeling of intense pleasure with which 
I greeted the sight of land again, as we passed among the nume- 
rous islands in the Straits. Bare, barren as they were, I thought 
them lovely as the Elysian fields, for they were la?id, solid, firm, 
dry land. How we leaned over the vessel's side, smelling the 
shore ! — enjoying the fine earthy, fragrant smell that our sea- 
seasoned noses were so quick to detect in every puff of wind that 

32 " MUTTON-BIRDS." [chap. v. 

. s , _______ 

came over the islands. We passed several very singular rocks* 
early in the morning of this most happy day, and went sailing 
on, with a fair breeze, a bright sunny blue sky, and an ever- 
changing, ever-new prospect around. We passed so near the 
islands of " Kent's Group," and another called the " Judgment," 
as to discern flocks of seal sleeping on the rocks ; thousands of 
sea-birds, named by sailors " mutton-birds," were flying or float- 
ing around us, and often diving for a considerable distance ; and, 
most beautiful of all in this bright picture, numerous vessels 
were in sight, all bound for the same port as ourselves ; and after 
each traversing a different path, were here, as it were, falling 
into the common high road for the Australian metropolis. 

Those " mutton-birds" I have just mentioned form a most 
curious and interesting community. I know not if their habits 
have been observed by naturalists, being myself totally out of 
the reach of books of reference on all similar subjects ; but the 
particulars I have heard from my husband, whose early wander- 
ings familiarised him with many of the native creatures of the 
Australian islands, struck me as being very curious. The 
birds are about the size of a wild-duck, with handsome black 
plumage, shot with metallic shades of green or brown, accord- 
ingly as the light falls on it ; they are web-footed, and the beak 
is similar in form to that of the albatross family. They live 
wholly at sea the chief part of the year, but on one particular 
day in spring — November 1st, never varying many hours in the 
time — they come in from sea in countless myriads, filling the 
air with clouds of their dark wings as they hurry ashore on some 
of the islands in Bass's Straits, where their " rookeries," as the 
sealers term them, are made. These are burrows in the earth, 
covering many of the islands ; and the first care of the birds on 
returning is to scratch them out clean from any rubbish that 
has accumulated, and put them in order for habitation, and often 
to make new ones. This preparatory business occupies about a 
fortnight, and then the swarming squadrons put to sea again for 
another fortnight or three weeks, not a bird remaining behind. 
At the end of this time they return in a body as before, and with 
much noise and bustle take up their abode in the rookeries, and 

* Called, I think, the Judge and Clerks. 


there lay their eggs and sit. The parent birds share between 
them the " domestic duties," taking it in turns to remain on the 
nest or go out to seek their food, which chiefly consists of a green 
slimy matter like sea-weed. They remain on shore until the 
young ones are a third part grown, and immensely fat, like masses 
of blubber, when the old birds leave them and go off* to sea. The 
young ones, unable to leave the rookeries, are sustained mean- 
while by their own fat ; and by the time that is tolerably reduced, 
their wings are grown strong enough for flight, and they also 
quit the rookery and go to sea, 

The men employed in sealing on these islands derive their 
chief sustenance from the mutton-birds, which they take in 
various ways. One very successful method of snaring them is 
thus practised : — A high pen of stakes wattled together is 
made on a low part of the coast, into which the poor mutton- 
birds, who always run down to the water to take wing, are driven 
with dogs and shouting, and there, as they cannot rise off the land, 
they can be killed at leisure. An extensive trade in their feathers 
is also carried on, but these have generally a strong and un- 
pleasant smell ; so that a " mutton-bird pillow" is spoken of as 
something proverbially disagreeable. Great quantities of the 
birds are cured by the sealers for sale, and I am told that their 
flavour is similar to that of a red-herring. 

Very early on the morning of September 27th, Mr. Mere- 
dith was requested to go on deck and identify the land we were 
then passing, cloudy weather for two days having prevented any 
observation being taken, and our exact whereabouts being there- 
fore doubtful. The unknown cliffs were immediately pro- 
nounced to be the headlands of Botany Bay ! — Our weary way- 
faring was nearly done, the next break in the iron-bound coast 
that rose dark and threateningly before us would be our welcome 
haven, Sydney Cove ! 

In an absolute whirl of delight and excitement, with bright 
looks and quick eager voices all around, I hastened to put up a 
few packages ready to take ashore, continually interrupting my- 
self to go on deck and mark our progress. The agitation on 
board was universal, and the transformations little short of mira- 
culous ; passenger-chrysalids were turning into butterflies every 
instant. Gentlemen, whose whole outer vestments for the past 

34 PORT JACKSON. [chap. v. 

month would have scarcely brought half-a-crown in Rag-Fair, 
suddenly emerged from their cabins exquisites of the first water ; 
and ladies, whose bronzed and scorched straw -bonnets would have 
been discarded long before by a match-girl, now appeared in 
delicate silks or satins of the latest London fashion. Gala dresses 
and holiday faces were the order of the day ; perhaps a child 
going home from school may feel as happy as I did, but the 
degree of delight could scarcely be excelled. 

The entrance to Port Jackson is grand in the extreme. The 
high, dark cliffs we had been coasting along all morning, suddenly 
terminate in an abrupt precipice, called the South Head, on 
which stand the lighthouse and signal -station. The North Head 
is a similar cliff, a bare bluff promontory of dark horizontal 
rocks ; and between these grand stupendous pillars, as through a 
colossal gate, we entered Port Jackson. 

The countless bays and inlets of this noble estuary render it 
extremely beautiful ; every minute, as we sailed on, a fresh vista 
opened on the view, each, as it seemed, more lovely than the 
last ; the pretty shrubs, growing thickly amid the rocks, and down 
to the water's edge, added infinitely to the effect, especially as 
they were really green, a thing I had not dared to expect ; but it 
was spring, and everything looked fresh and verdant. 

Here and there, on some fine lawny promontory or rocky 
mount, white villas and handsome cottages appeared, encircled 
with gardens and shrubberies, looking like the pretty " cottages 
ornees" near some fashionable English watering-place; and 
perched amid as picturesque, but less cultivated scenery, were the 
cottages of pilots, fishermen, &c, making, to my ocean-wearied 
eyes, an Arcadia of beauty. Near the North Head is the 
quarantine-ground, off which one unlucky vessel was moored 
when we passed ; and on the brow of the cliff a few tombstones 
indicate the burial-place of those unhappy exiles who die 
during the time of ordeal, and whose golden dreams of the far- 
sought land of promise lead but to a lone and desolate grave on 
its storm-beaten shore. 

We very narrowly escaped a serious accident even in the 
port. A large vessel was moored in mid-channel, and our 
pilot could not decide on which side he would pass her, until 
we were so near that a collision seemed inevitable, but we for- 

chap, v.] SCENERY. 35 

tunately cleared her, with not two feet to spare, and pursued our 

During a light shower which fell shortly after, amid the bright 
sunshine, a most beautiful rainbow appeared, seeming like a smile 
of welcome to my new country. It spanned over one of the 
many lovely little bays, and was very broad, so that, although the 
centre had a considerable elevation, it wholly rested on the water, 
which, with the rocks, trees, and hills beyond, and the snow- 
white sands of the bay, shone in all the graduated shades of the 
bright prismatic colours. It was beautiful beyond description. 

The pure white silvery sand which forms the beach in several 
of these picturesque coves, gives them a peculiarly bright 
appearance ; it is much valued, I believe, by glass-makers at 
home, and often taken as ship's ballast, for that purpose. 

As we neared Sydney, several rocky islets appeared, some 
rising like ruined forts and castles, and richly adorned with ver- 
dant shrubs down to the edge of the bright, clear, deep blue 
water, that reflected them so perfectly, one could scarcely tell 
where substance and shadow joined. One of them is named 
Shark Island ; another larger one, Garden Island ; and a little 
one, bearing the unmeaning and not very refined name of " Pinch- 
gut," is now the site of a small fort or battery. 

The remarkable clearness of the atmosphere particularly struck 
me, in looking at distant houses or other objects, everything, 
however remote, seeming to have such a clean, distinct outline, 
so different to the diffused effect of an English landscape ; not 
that I should like it in a picture so well as our softer and more 
rounded perspective, but in a new place, where one likes to see 
everything plainly, it is very pleasant. The bright white villas 
seemed almost to cut into their surrounding trees, so sharp the 
corners appeared ; and the universal adjunct of a veranda or piazza 
in front, served to remind us that we were in a more sunny clime 
than dear, dull Old England, where such permanent sun-shades 
would be as intolerable as they are here necessary. 

The harbour-master's boat was soon alongside, and he, with 
the physician, came on board, to perform their respective duties 
of inquiry and examination, and to hear the last news from 
home. No vessel had arrived from thence for a month, an un- 
usually long interval, and intelligence was anxiously expected ; 


36 NEW ZEALANDERS. [chap. v. 

but during the day of our arrival and the following one, above 
a dozen English vessels poured in. 

The pilot had informed us that wheat was at an enormous price 
in Sydney then, but his statement was not credited ; it was, how- 
ever, only too correct, twenty-seven shillings per bushel being 
the average price, in consequence of the severe droughts, which 
had for two successive seasons destroyed the crops. 

The crew of the harbour-master's boat were New Zealanders, 
fine intelligent-looking, copper-coloured fellows, clad in an odd 
composite style, their national dress and some British articles of 
apparel being blended somewhat grotesquely. The New Zea- 
landers are much the noblest specimens of " savages " that I have 
ever met with. During our residence in Sydney I saw a chief 
walking along one of the principal streets, with his wife follow- 
ing him. I had often heard of and seen what is called majestic 
demeanour, but this untutored being, with his tattooed face and 
arms, and long shaggy mantle, fairly outdid even my imaginings of 
the majestic, as he paced deliberately along, planting his foot at 
every step as if he had an emperor's neck beneath it, and gazing 
with most royal indifference around him. There was the con- 
centrated grandeur of a hundred regal mantles of velvet, gold, 
and ermine in the very sway of his flax-fringed cloak ; I never 
beheld anything so truly stately. I cannot say so much for his 
lady, a black-haired, brown-faced body, in a gaudy cotton-print 
gown, and (so far as I could judge) nothing else. She trotted 
after her lordly better-half, staring with unsophisticated curiosity 
at everything, apparently quite a novice in the busy scene ; but 
I verily believe, had you placed the man amidst the coronation 
splendours of Westminster Abbey, that he would not have been 
so " vulgar " as to betray surprise. Nor is their courtesy of 
manner in any degree inferior to their magnificent demeanour. I 
have heard my husband say, that when at New Zealand, he was 
treated by the chiefs with such kind, anxious hospitality, and 
true gentlemanly bearing, as might put to shame many an educated 
but less civilized European. 

About noon we cast anchor opposite Fort Macquarie, a neat 
stone building, with a few cannon planted around it. Close along- 
side of us lay a Scotch emigrant ship, her deck thronged with 
crowds of both sexes and all ages, enlivened by the fearful din of 

chap, v.] PULL ASHORE. 37 

some half-dozen bagpipers, who were all puffing, squeezing, and 
elbowing away with incomparable energy and perseverance, 
though, as they all seemed to be playing different airs, the melody 
produced was rather of a complex character. 

Behind, or rather to the right of Fort Macquarie, was Go- 
vernment House, a long low building with a spacious veranda, 
in which sentinels were pacing to and fro ; before it lay a fine 
green lawn, sloping towards, though not to, the water's edge, 
(quays intervening,) and around it grew noble trees, both Euro- 
pean and Colonial, the English oak in its early spring garb of 
yellow green being here and there overtopped by the grand and 
more sombre Norfolk Island pine. A few other good houses 
were in view, but the chief of the town, or, as it must now be 
called, city, is built on the sides and at the head of a cove running 
at right angles with the stream in which we lay, which prevented 
the best parts from being observed, and the main portion of what 
was visible had an air of "Wapping" about it, by no means 

The opposite or north shore of Port Jackson, here about two 
miles across, is of rather a monotonous character. Hills of no 
great elevation and very tame outline rise from the beach, dotted 
here and there with villas and cottages, their adjoining gardens 
making a pleasant green contrast with the uniform brown hue of 
the scrub. Numberless boats were pulling and sailing about, 
giving animation to the scene, and several of the vessels we had 
passed in Bass's Straits were working up the port ; the life and 
bustle all around making a delightful change after our long soli- 
tary voyage ; and when the boat came to take us ashore, my joy 
was complete. Once more seated in the slung chair, wrapped in 
the British flag, I gladly bade adieu to the good ship that had so 
long seemed to me a weary " prison-house," and soon, with-a 
delight that must be felt to be understood, stepped again on 

And how happy a time it is — the first few days on shore after 
such a voyage ! Every action of life is an enjoyment. I could 
walk, without the floor jumping about and pitching me over ; 
could use both hands to brush my hair, instead of keeping one to 
hold on by ; could absolutely set my wine-glass on the table 
without fear of its upsetting into my plate, though, by the bye, 

38 FIRST SIGHT OF SYDNEY. [chap. v. 

I often caught myself carefully propping it up against something, 
or looking above for the swing-tray to put it out of danger. 
Then the abundant supply of water for ablutionary purposes is a 
priceless luxury when first enjoyed after the limited allowance on 
board ship ; and I often made the chambermaid smile by asking 
if she could spare me another ewer-full. It \s fresh, clean water 
too, not flavoured either by a vinegar or rum cask, and can be 
used without being " left to settle ! " Perhaps few ship-stewards 
are very clean, but all are not extremely dirty, and therefore our 
exquisite enjoyment of clean cups, glasses, plates, and forks, may 
not be imagined by the generality of voyagers. Vegetables too, 
after a long diet of pork and rice, were most acceptable. Fruit 
was not in season, except loquats, a pleasant acid berry, the size 
and shape of a gooseberry, with large kernel-like pippins. The 
tree is a very handsome one, bearing large long leaves, and droop- 
ing clusters of white, deliciously fragrant blossoms, which are suc- 
ceeded by the golden-coloured fruit. 

When we remember that Sydney has risen within little more 
than fifty years from the first settlement of the colony, its size, 
appearance, and population are truly wonderful. It is a large 
busy town, reminding me of portions of Liverpool or Bristol, 
with many good buildings, though few have any pretension to 
architectural beauty. The newer portions of the town are laid 
out with regularity and advantage. One long street traverses its 
whole length, about a mile and a half, full of good shops exhibiting 
every variety of merchandise ; and in the afternoon, when the 
ladies of the place drive out, whole strings of carriages may be 
seen rolling about or waiting near the more " fashionable empo- 
riums," that being the term in which Australian shopkeepers 
especially delight. The vehicles are sometimes motley enough 
in their equipment. Here and there appears a real London-built 
chariot, brilliant in paint and varnish, and complete in every 
luxury ; with a coachman, attired something like worthy Sam 
Weller, " as a compo of footman, gardener, and groom," sitting 
on a box innocent of hammercloth, and driving a pair of mean- 
looking, under-sized horses terribly out of proportion with the 
handsome, aristocratic-looking carriage behind them. Some- 
times, but very rarely, you see a consistent, well-appointed equi- 
page ; I think the tandem is more frequently turned out in good 


style than any other kind : and as no " lady " in Sydney (your 
grocers' and butchers' wives included) believes in the possibility 
of walking, the various machines upon wheels, of all descriptions, 
are very numerous ; from the close carriage and showy barouche 
or britzka, to the more humble four-wheeled chaise and useful 
gig. Few ladies venture to risk their complexions to the expo- 
sure of an equestrian costume, and accordingly few appear on 

George Street seems to be by common consent considered as 
the Pail-Mall, or rather as the " Park" of Sydney, and up and 
down its hot, dusty, glaring, weary length go the fair wives and 
daughters of the " citizens," enjoying their daily airing ; whilst 
close to the town is the beautiful Domain, a most picturesque 
rocky promontory, thickly wooded and laid out in fine smooth 
drives and walks, all commanding most exquisite views of Sydney 
and its environs, the opposite shore, and the untiring ever-beau- 
tiful estuary of Port Jackson. It was our favourite spot ; even 
after driving elsewhere out of town (for alas ! the splendour of 
George Street had no charms for me) we generally made one 
circuit round the Domain, and as generally found ourselves the 
only visitors. It was unfashionable, in fact, not the proper 
thing at all, either to walk or drive in the Domain. It was a 
notorious fact, that maid -servants and their sweethearts resorted 
thither on Sundays, and of course that shocking circumstance 
ruined its character as a place for their mistresses to visit ; the 
public streets being so much more select. 

Lady Macquarie had this Domain laid out after her own plans ; 
walks and drives were cut through the rocks and shrubs, but no 
other trees destroyed ; seats placed at intervals, and lodges built 
at the entrances. On the high point of the promontory some 
large horizontal rocks have been slightly assisted by art into 
the form of a great seat or throne, called Lady Macquarie's 
Chair, above which an inscription informs the visitor to whose 
excellent taste and benevolent feeling he is indebted for the im- 
provement of this lovely spot. It always reminded me of Pierce- 
field in Monmouthshire, but is far more beautiful, inasmuch as, 
instead of the black-banked Wye, here the bright blue waves of 
the bay wash the lower crags, and in place of looking only at 
one opposite bank, here is a noble estuary with countless bays 


and inlets, pretty villas and cottages, and dainty little islands, 
all bright and clear and sunny, with a cloudless sky above them. 
The trees are chiefly different species of Eucalyptus, or " gum- 
tree,'" some of which bear large and handsome flowers, having a 
remarkably sweet and luscious scent, like honey, with which they 
abound. The name Eucalyptus is admirably descriptive of 
the flower, meaning covered well with a lid ; and each closed 
blossom is shaped like a goblet, with a pyramidal cover, which 
in due time falls, or is thrust off, by the crowd of squeezed-up 
stamens within, that quickly expand into a starry circle when 
released from their verdant prison. The leaves are mostly of a 
dull green, with a dry sapless look about them, more like old 
specimens in a herbarium than fresh living and growing things, 
and, being but thinly scattered on the branches, have a mea- 
gre appearance. They are, however, " evergreens," and in 
their peculiarity of habit strongly remind the observer that he 
is at the antipodes of England, or very near it, where every- 
thing seems topsy-turvy, for instead of the " fall of the leaf," 
here we have the stripping of the bark, which peels off at certain 
seasons in long pendent ragged ribands, leaving the disrobed 
tree almost as white and smooth as the paper I am now writing 
on. At first I did not like this at all, but now the clean stems 
of a young handsome gum-tree seem a pleasing variety amidst 
the sombre hues of an Australian forest. 

Several species of tea-tree (Leptospermum) form the chief por- 
tion of the shrubbery here, producing their small pretty blossoms 
very abundantly, whilst various other shrubs and many species 
of acacia (generally called Mimosa or Wattle here) display 
innumerable novelties of leaf and flower to the admiring eyes of 
an English visitor. One beautiful shrub grows on some of the 
low rocks, which I have not observed elsewhere : the leaves are 
large, and not unlike those of a Camellia ; the flower, in form, 
size, and colour, resembles a fine single yellow rose. 

Opposite the south shore of the Domain, and forming the 
other boundary of a beautiful cove, is another similar point or 
promontory, called still by the native name of Wooloomooloo 
(the accent being on the first and last syllables), on which a 
number of elegant villas have been erected by the more wealthy 
residents in Sydney, being to that place what the Regent's Park 


is to London. The views from many of these are beautiful in 
the extreme, looking down into two bays, one on either side, and 
beyond these to the town and port, with the magnificent heads 
of the harbour closing the seaward prospect. Vines flourish 
here luxuriantly, and many tropical plants and trees mingle with 
those of European growth. Hedges are often formed of gera- 
niums, and sometimes of the fruit-bearing cactus, called the 
prickly pear (C. opuntia, or C. nana?), a detestable thing, 
which if touched, even with strong leathern gloves, so penetrates 
them with its fine long spines, that the hands of the unlucky 
meddler are most annoyingly hurt by them. Some of our rarest 
greenhouse passion-flowers grow here unsheltered, and flower pro- 
fusely ; and the Brugmansia often forms the centre of a grass 
plot, with its graceful tent-like white bells hanging on it in hun- 
dreds. Geraniums thrive and grow very rapidly, but I did not 
see any good ones ; none that I should have thought worth cul- 
tivating in England. A Horticultural Society has now been 
established some years, and will doubtless be the means of 
much improvement. 

The Government Gardens are tastefully laid out round the 
sloping head of a small bay between the Domain and Govern- 
ment House, and contain (besides abundant vineries, and all 
other productive matters) a strange and beautiful assemblage of 
dwellers in all lands, from the tall bamboo of India to the lowly 
English violet. A group of graceful weeping-willows overhang 
a pretty shady pool, where a statue, by an English sculptor 
(Westmacott, I think), is now erected to General Bourke, for- 
merly governor of New South Wales. It had not arrived when 
we left Sydney, or I should have much rejoiced to see the first 
specimen of high art which the colony has obtained, placed in so 
lovely and, with us, so favourite a spot. The grand Norfolk 
Island pine, the fig, orange, mulberry, and countless trees, 
shrubs, and flowers new to me, add to the gay beauty of these 
gardens ; and when tired of roaming about the sunny and fra- 
grant walks, there are grassy lawns and shaded seats — and such 
a lovely prospect around, that, much as I should dislike to dwell 
in Sydney, I left its beautiful gardens with great regret. Yet, 
will it be believed, that even these are very little frequented by 
the inhabitants ? They are evidently, from some cause unknown 


to me (but doubtless nearly allied to the cause of the Domain's 
desertion), not considered correctly fashionable by the fancied 
" exclusives " of the place, though constantly frequented by all 
new-comers ; at all events, the former prefer the hot, glaring-, 
dusty pavement of a town street for their promenade, to these 
delicious gardens.* 

* Since writing the above, I have seen some remarks in a Sydney news- 
paper which imply a more general resort to the " Domain" than was the case 
at the time of which I speak. I rejoice to find that the beauties of so delight- 
ful a spot are becoming more properly estimated. 

chap, vi.] SYDNEY MARKET. 43 


Sydney Market — Fish, &c. — Dust ; Flies — Mosquitoes — Drive to the Light- 
house—Flowers — Parrots — Black Cockatoos — Hyde Park — Churches — 
Libraries — " Currency " population — Houses — Balls, &c. — Inns — Colonial 

The market in Sydney is well supplied, and is held in a large 
commodious building-, superior to most provincial market-houses 
at home. The display of fruit in the grape season is very 
beautiful. Peaches also are most abundant, and very cheap ; apples 
very dear, being chiefly imported from Van Diemen's Land, 
and frequently selling at sixpence each. The smaller English 
fruits, such as strawberries, &c, only succeed in a few situations 
in the colony, and are far from plentiful. Cucumbers and all 
descriptions of melon abound. The large green water-melon, 
rose-coloured within, is a very favourite fruit, but I thought it 
insipid. One approved method of eating it is, after cutting a 
sufficiently large hole, to pour in a bottle of Madeira or sherry, 
and mix it with the cold watery pulp. These melons grow to 
an enormous size (an ordinary one is from twelve to eighteen 
inches in diameter), and may be seen piled up like huge cannon- 
balls at all the fruit-shop doors, being universally admired in this 
hot, thirsty climate. 

There are some excellent fish to be procured here, but I know 
them only by the common Colonial names, which are frequently 
misnomers. The snapper, or schnapper, is the largest with which 
I am acquainted, and is very nice, though not esteemed a proper 
dish for a dinner-party — why, I am at a loss to guess ; but I never 
saw any native fish at a Sydney dinner-table— the preserved or 
cured cod and salmon from England being served instead, at a 
considerable expense, and, to my taste, it is not comparable with 
the cheap fresh fish, but being expensive, it has become " fashion- 
able," and that circumstance reconciles all things. The guard- 
fish is long and narrow, about the size of a herring, with a very 

44 FISH— DUST— FLIES. [chap. vi. 

singular head, the mouth opening at the top, as it were, and the 
lower jaw, or nose, projecting two-thirds of an inch beyond it. 
I imagine it must live chiefly at the bottom, and this formation 
enables it more readily to seize the food above it. They are 
most delicate little fish. The bream, a handsome fish, not unlike 
a perch in shape (but much larger, often weighing four or five 
pounds), and the mullet, but especially the latter, are excellent. 
The whiting, much larger than its English namesake, is perhaps 
the best of all ; but I pretend to no great judgment as a gastro- 
nome. I thought the rock-oysters particularly nice, and they 
are plentiful and cheap ; so are the crayfish, which are very 
similar to lobsters, when small, but the large ones rather coarse. 
I must not end my list of fish that we eat without mentioning 
one that is always ready to return the compliment when an 
opportunity offers, namely, the shark, many of whom are habit- 
ants of the bright tempting waters of Port Jackson. Provisions 
vary much in price from many circumstances. Everything was 
very dear when we landed in New South Wales, and at the pre- 
sent time prices are much too low to pay the producers. 

The dust is one main source of annoyance in Sydney. Unless 
after very heavy rain, it is always dusty ; and sometimes, when the 
wind is in one particular point, the whirlwinds of thick fine pow- 
der that fill every street and house are positive miseries. These 
dust- winds are locally named " brick-fielders," from the direction 
in which they come ; and no sooner is the approach of one per- 
ceived than the streets are instantly deserted, windows and doors 
closely shut, and every one who can remains within till the 
plague has passed over, when you ring for the servant with a 
duster, and collect enough fine earth for a small garden oif your 
chairs and tables. 

Flies are another nuisance ; they swarm in every room in tens 
of thousands, and blacken the breakfast or dinner table as soon 
as the viands appear, tumbling into the cream, tea, wine, and 
gravy with the most disgusting familiarity. But worse than 
these are the mosquitoes, nearly as numerous, and infinitely more 
detestable to those for whose luckless bodies they form an attach- 
ment, as they do to most new comers ; a kind of initiatory compli- 
ment which I would gladly dispense with, for most intolerable is 
the torment they cause in the violent irritation of their moun- 


tainous bites. All houses are furnished with a due attention to 
these indefatigable gentry, and the beds have consequently a 
curious aspect to an English eye accustomed to solid four-posters, 
with voluminous hangings of chintz or damask, and a pile of 
feather-beds which would annihilate a sleeper in this climate. 
Here you have usually a neat thin skeleton-looking frame of 
brass or iron, over which is thrown a gauze garment, consisting 
of curtains, head, and tester, all sewn together ; the former full, 
and resting on the floor when let down, but during the day tied 
up in festoons. Some of these materials are very pretty, being 
silk, with satin stripes of white or other delicate tints on the 
green gauze ground. At night, after the curtains are lowered, 
a grand hunt takes place, to kill or drive out the mosquitoes from 
within ; having effected which somewhat wearisome task, you 
tuck the net in all round, leaving one small bit which you care- 
fully raise, and nimbly pop through the aperture into bed, clos- 
ing the curtain after you. This certainly postpones the ingress 
of the enemy, but no precaution that my often-tasked ingenuity 
could invent will prevent it effectually. They are terrible pests, 
and very frequently aided in their nocturnal invasions of one's rest 
by the still worse and thrice-disgusting creatures familiar to most 
dwellers in London lodgings or seaport inns, to say nothing of 
fleas, which seem to pervade this colony in one universal swarm. 
The thickest part of a town, or the most secluded spot in the 
wild bush, is alike replete with these small but active annoyances. 
One day we drove out to the lighthouse on the South Head, 
about eight miles from Sydney. Soon after leaving the town 
the road passes the new court-house and gaol, and its handsome 
front, in the Doric or Ionic style (I forget which), is the only 
architectural building the " city " could boast when I was there, 
though I suppose that ere this the new Government House, a 
mansion in the Elizabethan -Gothic style, is completed. We 
began shortly to ascend a hill, the road being all sea-sand appa- 
rently, and nothing but sand was visible all around. Great green 
mat-like plats of the pretty Mesembryanthemum cequilaterale, 
or fig-marigold, adorned the hot sandy banks by the road-side. 
It bears a bright purple flower, and a five-sided fruit, called by 
children " pig- faces." A very prickly species of solanum also grew 
here, with large green spiky leaves, more difficult to gather even 

46 FLOWERS— SCENERY. [chap. vi. 

than holly, and pretty bluish potato-like blossoms. The uni- 
versal tea-tree, and numberless shrubs which I knew not, adorned 
the sandy wastes in all directions. As we continued to ascend, 
the road became very rough, huge masses of rock protruding like 
gigantic steps, over which the wheels scraped and grated and 
jumped in a way that made me draw rather strong comparisons 
between the character of roads at home and abroad. As we 
approached the summit, the hollow formed by the road was sud- 
denly filled by a background (forgive the paradox) of deep blue 
water ; it was the open sea that gradually rose before us, seen 
over the rocks, and spreading out bright and blue, with small 
waves sparkling in the fervid sunshine, and the white diamond- 
crested spray dashing high against the iron-bound coast, here 
broken into a low craggy amphitheatre, into which the rolling 
waves came surging on, breaking over the groups of rocks, and 
forming bright little basins among them. On either side the 
rocks rose again in large masses, presenting a precipitous face to 
the sea, being part of the dark formidable cliffs we had seen in 
approaching the Heads by sea. The road, after descending the 
hill, turned to the left, through some sandy scrub, crowded with 
such exquisite flowers that to me it appeared one continued garden, 
and I walked for some distance, gathering handfuls of them — of 
the same plants that I had cherished in pots at home, or begged 
small sprays of in conservatories or greenhouses ! I had whole 
boughs of the splendid metrosideros,a tall handsome shrub, bearing 
flowers of the richest crimson, like a large bottle-brush ; several 
varieties of the delicate epacris ; different species of acacia, tea-tree, 
and corraea, the brilliant " Botany-Bay lily," and very many yet 
more lovely denizens of this interesting country, of which I know 
not even the name. One, most beautiful, was something like a 
small iris, of a pure ultra-marine blue, with smaller petals in the 
centre, most delicately pencilled ; but ere I had gathered it five 
minutes, it had withered away, and I never could bring one home 
to make a drawing from. Surely it must have been some sensi- 
tive little fay, who, charmed into the form of a flower, might not 
bear the touch of a mortal hand ! 
Numbers of parrots, those 

" Strange bright birds, that on starry wings 
Bear the rich hues of all glorious things," 


were flying from tree to tree, or crossing the road in chattering, 
screaming parties, all as gay and happy as splendid colours and glad 
freedom could make them. Often they rose close before us from 
the road, like living gems and gold, so vividly bright they shone 
in the sun ; and then a party of them would assemble in a tree, 
with such fluttering, and flying in and out, and under and over ; 
such genteel-looking flirtations going on, as they sidled up and 
down the branches, with their droll sly-looking faces peering 
about, and inspecting us first with one eye, then with the other, 
that they seemed quite the monkeys of the feathered tribes. 

On nearing the lighthouse, after ascending one or two slight 
hills, we passed several small houses, and others were building ; 
the views from thence are doubtlessly very grand, but it must 
be a most exposed situation, with nothing to break the force of 
the strong sea-breezes, and but little vegetation to moderate the 
glare of the sun. 

The view from the cliffs is indeed grand, 

" O'er the glad waters of the dark-blue sea;" 
and looking down over the dizzy height, the eye glances from 
crag to crag, till it catches the snowy puffs of foam flung up from 
the breakers that roar and dash in the cavernous chasms below, 
booming among them like subterranean thunder. As I fearfully 
gazed down, something leaped between me and the dark water — 
it was a goat, and there were some half-dozen of the agile crea- 
tures far down the slippery precipitous crags, leaping, jumping, 
and frolicking about, with scarcely an inch of foot-room, and only 
the boiling surf below. 

Opposite to us rose the corresponding cliff, called the North 
Head, bluff and bare, and wearing on its hoary front the hues 
with which thousands of storms have dyed it. Myriads of sea- 
fowl were soaring and screaming around, and several vessels in 
the offing, and nearer shore, were apparently shaping their course 
to the port, but too distant for us to wait their entrance through 
these most grand and stupendous gates. The lighthouse itself is 
not in any way remarkable ; close by is the signal-staff, by means 
of which the intelligence of vessels arriving is speedily trans- 
mitted to Sydney and Paramatta. 

We drove back by a different road, nearer to the port, and 
less hilly, but equally beautiful with that by which we came. It 


led us through a moister-looking region, with more large trees, 
greener shrubs, and more luxuriant herbage, and commanding 
most lovely views, that appeared in succession like pictures seen 
through a natural framework of high white-stemmed gum-trees 
and tall acacias. Here and there peeped forth a prettily situated 
residence, with its shady garden and cool piazza, looking down into 
one of the small bays I have before mentioned, and beyond that 
to the estuary. 

On one large dead gum-tree a whole council of black cockatoos 
was assembled in animated debate, sidling up and down the 
branches, erecting and lowering their handsome gold-tipped top- 
knots, as if bowing to each other with the politest gestures ima- 
ginable ; and accompanying the dumb show with such varied 
intonations of voice as made it impossible to doubt that a most 
interesting discussion was going on, all conducted in the most 
courteous manner : perhaps a reform of the grub laws was in 
agitation, for the business was evidently one of grave importance, 
and we respectfully remained attentive spectators of the ceremony 
until "the House" adjourned, and the honourable members flew 
away. These birds are by no means common in the neighbour- 
hood of Sydney, nor did I see any more during my stay in the 

The same deep sandy road continued : it appeared to me that 
this part of the country must have been gradually elevated from 
the sea, and a long succession of beaches consequently formed, 
and left inland by the retreating waters ; for the prodigious 
accumulation of true sea-sand here seems difficult to account for 
in any other way. In the Domain, too, and many other situations, 
are raised beaches, consisting wholly of sea-sand and shells 
(recent ones, so far as I examined them), above which, in a thin 
stratum of soil, great trees are growing ; so that, although these 
beaches have formed part of the dry land long enough for a body 
of soil to be deposited upon them, and for aged trees to have 
grown in that, they are still of modern elevation. 

Sydney boasts her " Hyde Park ;" but impark utterly destitute 
of trees seems rather an anomaly. It is merely a large piece of 
brown ground fenced in, where is a well of good water, from 
which most of the houses are supplied by means of water-carts. 
There is also a racecourse between the town and Botany Bay, 

chap, vi.] CHURCHES— LIBRARIES. 49 

racing being a favourite amusement among the gentlemen of the 
colony, and sometimes among the ladies, for I was told of a race 
somewhere " up the country," in which two " young ladies " were 
the riders, the prize being a new side-saddle and bridle, which 
was won in good style by one of the fair damsels ; the horse 
of the other receiving a severe castigation from his gentle mistress, 
for having swerved and lost the race. 

Most of the country gentlemen near Sydney, and for many 
miles round, are members of the " Cumberland Hunt ;" they 
have a tolerable pack of hounds, and the destructive native dog, 
or dingo, serves them for a fox. So long as they hunt the 
really wild ones, the sport is certainly useful ; but when, as 
frequently happens, a bagged dog furnishes the day's amusement, 
I cannot but think the field of mounted red-coats as something 
less than children. Dinners and balls of course form a part 
of the arrangements for the races and hunts, and everything 
is conducted in as English a manner as can be attained by a 
young country imitating an old one. 

There are several large churches in Sydney, plainly, but 
substantially built ; and one was in progress when we were there, 
which promised a more architectural appearance. The Bishop of 
Australia is a resident in Sydney. The Roman Catholics, and 
various dissenting congregations, have also neat and commodious 

I heard that there was a Museum of Natural History ; and the 
" Australian Library " contains an excellent selection of books 
for so young an institution. The circulating libraries are very 
poor affairs, but, I fear, quite sufficient for the demand, reading 
not being a favourite pursuit. The gentlemen are too busy, or 
find a cigar more agreeable than a book ; and the ladies, to quote 
the remark of a witty friend, " pay more attention to the adorn- 
ment of their heads without than within?' That there are many 
most happy exceptions to this rule, I gladly acknowledge ; but 
in the majority of instances, a comparison between the intellect 
and conversation of Englishwomen, and those of an equal grade 
here, would be highly unfavourable to the latter. An apathetic 
indifference seems the besetting fault ; an utter absence of interest 
or inquiry beyond the merest gossip, — the cut of a new sleeve, or 


50 "STERLING" AND "CURRENCY." [chap. vi. 

the guests at a late party. " Do you play ?" and " Do you draw ?" 
are invariable queries to a new lady-arrival. " Do you dance V* 
is thought superfluous, for everybody dances ; but not a question 
is heard relative to English literature or art ; far less a remark 
on any political event, of however important a nature : — not a 
syllable that betrays thought, unless some very inquiring belle 
ask, " if you have seen the Queen, and whether she is pretty V 
But all are dressed in the latest known fashion, and in the best 
materials, though not always with that tasteful attention to the 
accordance or contrast of colour which an elegant Englishwoman 
would observe. 

The natives (not the aborigines, but the " currency," as they 
are termed, in distinction from the " sterling," or British-born resi- 
dents) are often very good-looking when young ; but precocity 
of growth and premature decay are unfortunately characteristic 
of the greater portion. The children are mostly pale and slight, 
though healthy, with very light hair and eyes — at least such is 
their general appearance, with of course many exceptions. They 
grow up tall ; the girls often very pretty and delicate-looking 
whilst young (although very often disfigured by bad teeth) ; but 
I have seen women of twenty-five or thirty, whose age I should 
have guessed to be fifty at least. They marry very young, and 
the consequent " olive branches " are extremely numerous. The 
boys grow up long, and often lanky, seldom showing the strong 
athletic build so common at home, or, if they do, it is spoiled by 
round shoulders and a narrow chest, and, what puzzles me 
exceedingly to account for, a very large proportion of both male 
and female natives snuffle dreadfully ; just the same nasal twang 
as many Americans have. In some cases English parents have 
come out here with English-born children ; these all speak clearly 
and well, and continue to do so, whilst those born after the 
parents arrive in the colony have the detestable snuffle. This 
is an enigma which passes my sagacity to solve. 

Of course a large proportion of the population are emancipists 
(convicts who have served their allotted years of transportation), 
and their families or descendants ; and a strong line of demarca- 
tion is in most instances observed between them and the free 
emigrants and settlers. Wealth, all-powerful though it be, — 

chap, vi.] EMANCIPISTS. 51 

and many of these emancipists are the richest men in the colony, — 
cannot wholly overcome the prejudice against them, though 
policy, in some instances, greatly modifies it. Their want of 
education is an effectual barrier to many, and these so wrap 
themselves in the love of wealth, and the palpable, though mis- 
placed importance it gives, that their descendants will probably 
improve but little on the parental model. You may often see a 
man of immense property, whose wife and daughters dress in the 
extreme of fashion and finery, rolling home in his gay carriage 
from his daily avocations, with face, hands, and apparel as dirty 
and slovenly as any common mechanic. And the son of a simi- 
lar character has been seen, with a dozen costly rings on his 
coarse fingers, and chains, and shirt-pins, glistening with gems, 
buying yet more expensive jewellery, yet without sock or stock- 
ing to his feet; the shoes, to which his spurs were attached, leav- 
ing a debatable ground between them and his trowsers ! Spurs 
and shoes are, I imagine, a fashion peculiar to this stamp of 
exquisites, but among them very popular. 

Many instances occur of individuals of this class returning to, 
or perhaps for the first time visiting England, with the pur- 
pose of remaining there to enjoy their accumulated wealth, and 
after a short trial, coming back to the colony, heartily disgusted 
with the result of their experiment. Here, as " small tritons of 
the minnows," they are noted by their riches, and courted 
for them ; but at home, shorn of their beams by the thousands 
of greater lights than their own, and always subject to unplea- 
sant prejudices and reflections touching " Botany Bay," and 
other like associations, they find their dreams of grandeur and 
importance wofully disappointed, and gladly hasten with all 
speed from the scenes of mortified vanity. One of these 
adventurous worthies made the voyage to England, landed, and 
remained in London a very brief space, — not more, I believe, 
than one or two weeks, — when, fully satisfied, he took ship and 
set forth back again. On arriving in Sydney, his friends in- 
quired his opinions of England ; — Did he not admire the magni- 
ficent buildings and streets in London ? "Oh ! very well ; but 
nothing like George-street !" At all events, the extraordinary 
perfection and beauty of the English, horses must have delighted 


52 GRADES OF SOCIETY. [chap. vi. 

him? — " No, not at all; nothing to be compared with Mr. 
Cox's breed." 

The good people of Sydney have yet many wise things to learn, 
and many silly ones to unlearn, before they can attain that resem- 
blance to the higher middle classes at home which is their 
anxious aim ; and the shallow petty pride, or rather vanity, 
which causes so many heart-burnings and such eager rivalry 
among those who can often but ill afford its cost, is the main- 
spring of their follies. The existence of such feeling in a colony, 
where all, with very rare exceptions, have sprung from needy 
emigrants or transported criminals, is too absurd to require a 
comment. Yet pride, of a right kind, might be the best agent 
a new country could possess ; but it must be a generous, not 
selfish pride ; it must strive for renown in a general good, not an 
individual aggrandisement ; it must show a wise and liberal, not 
(as is too much the case at present) an ignorant and sordid 
spirit; its effort must be, not to rise above its neighbours, and, 
if possible, thrust them lower still, in contrast to its own exalta- 
tion, but aid, by an example of strict integrity and honour, 
careful industry, increasing knowledge, and true morality, the 
interests of the community at large. 

The distinctions in society here remind me of the " Dock-yard 
people," described by Dickens, that keen and kindly satirist of 
modern follies. Thus — Government officers don't know mer- 
chants ; merchants with " stores" don't know other merchants 
who keep " shops ;" and the shopkeepers have, I doubt not, a 
little code of their own, prescribing the proper distances to be 
observed between drapers and haberdashers, butchers and pastry- 
cooks. The general character of the invitations to the entertain- 
ments at Government House has caused much discussion and 
animadversion ; the citizens who drive chariots not liking to be 
mingled in company with their tradespeople who only keep gigs. 
But all this pride of place is so very ridiculous and unbecoming 
in such a community, that were not its tendency so mischievous, 
it could only provoke a smile. 

English customs and fashions are carefully followed, and fre- 
quently outdone by the more wealthy and (if I may be allowed 
the phrase, in speaking of commoners) aristocratic of the colo- 

chap, vi.] THEATRE— BALLS. 53 

nists. Their extravagant mode of living, combined with the 
mania for speculation, has greatly contributed to the late and 
still existing embarrassments of the colony. Many of their 
houses are elegant villas, with rooms of noble dimensions, expen- 
sively furnished with almost every luxury to be found in a gen- 
tleman's residence in England, and environed by beautiful 
gardens, where every description of fruit, both European and 
tropical, is cultivated. The numerous servants too are a great 
and universal expense. The smaller houses of merchants, and 
various professional and official men, have much the style of those 
in suburban streets in England, standing alone or in pairs, all 
protected from the sun by verandas from six to twelve feet wide, 
with pretty gardens in front, often fenced by high hedges of gay 
geraniums. Several of these villa-streets are very pretty, and a 
most refreshing contrast to the dust, dirt, noise, and closeness of 
the lower part of the town, which is, from the climate and other 
causes, some shades more unpleasant than any place I ever was 
in before. 

These rambling " Sketches" of mine are fortunately not re- 
quired to be a complete " Guide" to all the lions, wonders, and 
beauties of Sydney and its vicinity, for of many I am totally 
ignorant. I know it possesses a pretty theatre, and that frequent 
concerts and public balls are given at all seasons ; but as my health 
did not allow of my partaking in any amusement which demanded 
attendance in close and heated assemblies, I cannot speak of them 
from experience. Three annual " national" balls were given 
whilst I was in the colony, which those present described as very 
gay affairs ; the tutelar saints of the three kingdoms being made 
patrons extraordinary on the occasion — St. George presiding 
over the English ball, St. Andrew over the Scotch, and St. 
Patrick, that " gentlemanly" saint, over the Irish entertainment. 
A fourth ball was then arranged, being, a combination of the 
forces, and at this fancy dresses were very generally worn, and 
some well supported. All these balls were very numerously 
attended, it being quite a matter of course for families to 
come above two hundred miles, even in that climate, and 
over such roads, to attend a ball. How any one at home 
would laugh at the idea of journeying an equal distance on a 

54 INNS-PUBLIC-HOUSES. [chap. vi. 

like errand ! even with all the aids of rail and turnpike- 
roads, stage-coaches and post-chaises ! But young ladies are 
so numerous, and balls so comparatively rare, that it seems an 
act of policy not to lose these occasional opportunities for the 
display of charms that might otherwise " waste their sweetness 
on the desert air." 

There are several good inns in Sydney, much frequented by 
bachelor settlers, and one, to which the married ones take their 
families, at about double the expense of accommodation in a 
first-rate English hotel ; and whilst you are served with " King's 
pattern " plate, and by half a dozen waiters, you miss many of 
the commonest comforts to be found in every wayside hostel 
at home. These and similar inconsistencies are perpetually strik- 
ing a new-comer, in every circumstance of life and every grade 
of society. 

A stranger cannot fail to notice the prodigious number 
of public-houses in this place, and, judging from general 
appearances, I fear they are only too well supported, and 
receive the greater part of the earnings of the lower classes, 
among whom habits of intemperance are unhappily very pre- 
valent. The advocates of the temperance and tee-total socie- 
ties have, I believe, effected considerable good, but much more 
remains to be done. 

My readers doubtless remember the inimitable passages in 
( Pickwick,' descriptive and illustrative of the " Eatanswill 
Gazette," and " Independent," with their rival editors, Mr. 
Pott and Mr. Hurk. It is my sincere opinion that some of the 
colonial editors here have mutually resolved on attempting an 
exact imitation of the style and manner of these renowned papers, 
for their leading articles bear a most curious resemblance, 
fraught with the most deadly hatred of each other, and the same 
unmeasured powers of abuse and wholesale condemnation. Such 
terms as " Our base and mendacious contemporary ;" " That 

tissue of ignorance and conceit, the ;" " That mean-spirited 

creature, whose vile insinuations we despise ;" together with 
torrents of " rascal, liar, scoundrel, booby, fool, venom, viper, 
toad," &c. &c, give an indescribable piquancy and interest to 
their charming productions ; their brethren of Port Phillip, 


ITobarton, &c, often zealously emulating their spirit and in- 
comparable choice of language; though some are of a very 
different stamp, and, strange to say, are preferred by many per- 
sons who have the curious taste to peruse with more satis- 
faction European news, and quiet discussions of general topics, 
than the most fluent and animated harangues of these eloquent 

56 " CLEARINGS." [chap. vii. 


Leave Sydney — " Clearings " — Huts of the Working Classes — Chain-Gangs 
— Parramatta — Creeks and Rivers— Inn — Birds — Road to Penrith — Grass- 
hoppers— Penrith — Nepean — Emu Plains — Ascent of the Blue Mountains 
— Waratah. 

In the last chapter I have given my general impressions of 
Sydney ; the result of our entire residence in the town and 
neighbourhood, rather than a mere first view, which could Gnly 
observe the surface of things, my first sojourn there being only 
for a fortnight, when, our baggage being landed and stored, and 
all other arrangements completed, we prepared for a journey " up 
the country." My husband required to visit his sheep-stations on 
the Murrumbidgee ; but my travels were not to extend farther 
than Bathurst, about 120 miles. 

Our first day's journey was merely an afternoon drive to 
Parramatta, fifteen miles from Sydney, through alternate cleared 
land and "bush," but all enclosed. The chief of the way-side 
houses were those of publicans, round which drays and carts were 
usually assembled, whilst their drivers refreshed themselves 
within, and swarms of flies added to the torment and weariness of 
the miserable horses and oxen, who often wait for hours the 
return of their brutal and drunken guide. 

The system of " clearing " here, by the total destruction of 
every native tree and shrub, gives a most bare, raw, and ugly 
appearance to a new place. In England we plant groves and 
woods, and think our country residences unfinished and incomplete 
without them ; but here the exact contrary is the case, and unless 
a settler can see an expanse of bare, naked, unvaried, shadeless, 
dry, dusty land spread all around him, he fancies his dwelling 
" wild and uncivilized." About some of the older houses in the 
colony a growth of fruit-trees, and often British forest-trees, has 
succeeded the despised aboriginal productions, and sometimes a few 


of the grand Norfolk Island pines tower above the lower groups. 
Ungrafted quince and peach trees form hedges in many places ; 
and when not hidden in the thick coat of dust which covers 
everything near a public road, their greener hue is a pleasing 
change amidst the brown landscape. Where land is not required 
for the plough, the trees are frequently only cut down within a 
yard of the ground, which remains thickly encumbered with the 
ugly blackened and burned stumps, giving the appearance at a 
little distance of a large and closely occupied graveyard ; grub- 
bing, or taking up the roots, being a far more expensive opera- 
tion. Many large trees are destroyed by a ring of bark being 
taken off the trunk, when they die in the course of a year, and 
their huge leafless skeletons have an indescribably dreary and 
desolate aspect. 

Maize, or Indian corn, which I here saw growing for the first 
time, is a most ornamental crop, each plant being placed by 
itself, and its long, broad, green leaves and crowning spire of 
blossoms having a very graceful appearance. It is generally 
cultivated here in lieu of other grain, for which the climate is 
less adapted, and is always understood by the term corn, all other 
corn, such as wheat, barley, &c, being called grain. 

The habitations of the working classes, for poor there are 
none, are the least pleasing objects one meets with in this colony. 
Instead of the neat clean cottage of an English labourer, with its 
little glazed windows, and tidy though old curtains looped on one 
side ; its small garden-plot of vegetables, pot-herbs, and sweet 
flowers, and cheerful, though humble aspect, — here you pass a 
wretched hut or hovel, built of heaped turf, or more frequently 
of " slabs " (rough pieces of split timber, set on end, like a 
strong paling), and thatched, and which, if plastered with mud, 
would be weather-proof and comfortable ; but, for the most part, 
the slabs are all falling asunder, the thatch half torn off, the 
window, or rather the place for one, stopped with pieces of wood, 
hides, and old rags; and the door, without hinges, inclining 
against the wall. A heap of ashes and chips usually lies in front ; 
broken bottles, old casks, old rags, bones, and shoes, and various 
similar articles are scattered around. Not a herb, not a cabbage 
is to be seen ; no attempt at making a garden, although a fence 
might be had for the trouble of cutting it, and, by very little 


labour, abundant crops of vegetables and fruit produced. Unfor- 
tunately, at the time I speak of, wages were so high, that by 
working only a third or fourth part of his time, a man could gain 
an ample livelihood, and consequently those disposed to be idle 
had both time and money to spend in drunkenness ; the improve- 
ment and comfort of their homes had no share in their thoughts ; 
and the wife in many cases was as bad as her husband ; whilst the 
unfortunate children, growing up without instruction, and under 
such examples, cannot be expected to adopt any very moral 
or religious ideas. The rate of wages is no doubt now much 
lowered by the increased number of emigrants ; and this, by com- 
pelling many to acquire more industrious habits, will do immense 
good. I remember the wife of a turnpike-keeper near our house, 
who was scarcely ever seen sober, and as rarely without a broken 
head or a black eye. One day Mr. Meredith was driving a 
friend to the races at Parramatta, and, on reaching the turnpike, 
this engaging female was discovered seated at a table by the door, 
with a cup and a half-gallon bottle of rum beside her, the effect 
of which was already evident ; she offered Mr. Meredith a ticket, 
which he told her was not required, as she knew him so well 
from his passing constantly — " Oh, sir, you'd better take it, for I 
shan't know anybody by the time you come back !" 

It is amusing enough, in traversing this colony, to come upon 
a spot in the midst of the wild bush, where a great finger-post 
stands to inform you that you are in the " township " of Mon- 
mouth, or Rutland, or some other old country name, with other 
posts at certain distances, bearing the names of streets, squares, 
&c, where not the semblance of a human dwelling is visible, 
though all arrangements seem made for a large and populous 
town. These, I imagine, are some of the " town allotments," in 
which such extensive and fatal speculations have been made in 
all parts of the colonies. 

We passed several " chain-gangs " working on the road ; these 
are convicts, who, from their great and repeated crimes, are sen- 
tenced for various periods to work in irons in the service of the 
government; and the villainous countenances of the greater 
number, the clank of their chains, and the thought of how awful 
an amount of crime had led to this disgraceful punishment, made 
me positively dread passing or meeting a band of the miserable 

chap, vii.] "CHAIN-GANGS." 59 

wretches. Very erroneous opinions relative to the state of con- 
victs in these colonies exist at home as to the degree of hardship 
they endure. I think I can in the course of these pages relate 
enough from my own observation, to prove how much very many 
humane persons are misled in their ideas on the subject. Even the 
chain-gangs, the lowest grade of this class, do not perform on an 
average the third part of the labour which any English mechanic 
or labourer does gladly and cheerfully. Their rations of food are 
wholesome and abundant, and their huts or barracks provided 
Avith every necessary. When sick, they have the best medical care, 
and whatever additional luxuries their state may require ; and 
when I apply to them the term " miserable wretches," I would 
be understood as applying it to their crimes and social degrada- 
tion, not to their corporal sufferings. They work under the super- 
intendence of overseers, and sentinels with loaded muskets, who 
would shoot any one attempting to escape ; but notwithstanding 
every precaution, they do frequently evade the vigilance of their 
guards, and, " taking the bush," that is, running away into the 
forests, they often become formidable in their attacks on travel- 
lers in the lonely roads up the country. Not long ago, I saw an 
account of eleven murders having been committed by one of these 
desperadoes, and accompanied by such horrors of mangling, burn- 
ing, and otherwise disposing of his victims, as far exceed all the 
fearful tragedies of a like kind we read of in the English papers. 
Several parties of bushrangers were out at the time of our jour- 
ney, but as that is generally the case, it made no difference in our 

Parramatta is a straggling and extensive place, with good wide 
streets, containing houses and shops of every size and description, 
which are most agreeably diversified by the pretty gardens en- 
compassing many of them, shadowed with fine mulberry, orange, 
and fig trees, and gay with luxuriant shrubs and flowers, among 
which the large American aloe forms a prominent feature, and 
frequently one appears in bloom. From its low situation, Par- 
ramatta is many degrees warmer than Sydney, and though seated 
on the shores of Port Jackson (here called the Parramatta river), 
it feels little if any benefit from the sea-breeze, which in Sydney 
is so great a relief. I may here add another link to the chain 

60 PARRAMATTA. [chap. vii. 

of antipodean absurdities enumerated by Mr. Baron Field,* by 
asserting that all the rivers are creeks, and all the creeks rivers ; 
thus you hear people continually talking of the Parramatta river, 
which is neither more nor less than the higher portion of the 
estuary of Port Jackson, and perfectly salt : whilst if by chance 
you meet with a precious little stream of fresh water far inland, 
rest assured it is nothing but a " creek." I was most amusingly 
puzzled by hearing of " creeks" far away from the coast, and 
began to suspect my geography to be in fault, when I soon found 
them to be what in England we should call a brook or rivulet. 
Orange-groves and vineyards are numerous in the vicinity of 
Parramatta, and supply the " metropolis " with the chief of its 
fruit. Various kinds of oranges are grown, both sweet and bit- 
ter ; among the latter, a very small one, called the mandarin 
orange, is a pretty and fragrant fruit, and makes a delicious pre- 
serve. The lemons are very different from those used in England, 
being much the shape of an ill-formed Seville orange, but well- 
flavoured and juicy. 

Some of the houses are covered with vines, and the verandas 
of others richly tapestried with jasmine, woodbine, roses, and 
climbing plants of every description. The church is a singular- 
looking edifice, having two blunt spires, one of which only is 
surmounted with the usual vane and weathercock. The Court- 
house has a handsome Grecian portico of cut stone, and the " fac- 
tory," or house of correction for female prisoners, the hospital, 
schools, and other public institutions are large establishments, 

* " It is New Holland — where it is summer with us, when it is winter in 
Europe, and vice versa ; where the barometer rises before bad weather, and 
falls before good ; where the north is the hot wind, and the south the cold ; where 
the humblest house is fitted up with cedar ( Cedrela Toona) ; where the fields 
are fenced with mahogany {Eucalyptus robusta) • and myrtle-trees (Myr- 
tacece) are burnt for fuel ; where the swans are black, and the eagles are 
white ; where the kangaroo, an animal between the squirrel and the deer, has 
five claws on its fore-paws, and three talons on its hind-legs, like a bird, and 
yet hops on its tail [It is almost needless to say that this absurd idea has 
long been exploded. — L.M.]; where the mole ( Ornithorhynchus paradoxits)\ays 
eggs, and has a duck's bill ; where there is a bird (Melliphaga) which has a 
broom in its mouth, instead of a tongue ; where there is a fish, one half be- 
longing to the genus Raia, and the other to that of Squalus ; where the 
pears are made of wood (Xylomelum pyriforme), with the stalk at the broader 
end ; and where the cherry {Exocarpus cupressiformis) grows with the stone 
on the outside." 


but I never was within any of them, although subsequently re- 
siding in the neighbourhood for some time. 

After passing a particularly pretty garden, in which stood a 
long low house, with a spacious piazza in front, I was surprised 
by Mr. Meredith's driving up to the door, and still more so on 
finding that this was our inn, where we had engaged rooms. My 
belief that it was a private residence was natural enough, for the 
sign of the " Red Cow " on the roof had escaped my notice ; 
but we were most comfortably accommodated in every way. 
The garden was full of beautiful flowers, particularly the 
bright scarlet blossoms of the pomegranate, the soft and fra- 
grant oleander, and quantities of pink and crimson china-roses. 
An enormous prickly-pear ( Cactus opuntia ?) grew near the 
house (I think it must be twenty feet high), and was full of 
yellow blossoms and dark red fruit, in picking up some of which 
to taste, I stuck my gloves so full of the fine penetrating prickles 
that it was some days before I extracted them all from my hands. 

Two beautiful birds were living tame in the garden ; they were 
called curlews, but I doubt if correctly. They were much the 
shape of the avosetta, with long straight legs, long straight bill, 
a prettily-marked brown plumage, and the finest eyes I ever saw 
in any but the eagle or hawk tribe. The female was very shy, 
having had her nest and eggs repeatedly destroyed by mischievous 
boys and visitors ; but the male was very familiar, following us 
all about, uttering a plaintive cry, which I afterwards used to 
hear frequently at night near our own residence, where they were 
very numerous, though scarcely ever seen. 

Several of the native parrots were caged in the veranda, and 
talked a little ; one kind, as large as the grey and green parrots 
so often seen in England kept as pets, had a most elegant plu- 
mage, the back, wings, and upper part of the tail being pale 
lavender-colour, and the breast and tail-linings the most delicate 
pink. Beside these hung the prison of a lovely little creature, 
called the Bathurst parrot or parroquet, or, as I named it then, 
and have done ever since, the " painted lady," as on each cheek (or 
whatever ornithologists call the part of a bird's face which cor- 
responds to that human feature) there is a round spot of soft crim- 
son orange-colour ; the rest of the fair lady's attire being bluish 
lavender, with a pale primrose-coloured breast ; a long tail, and 

62 ROAD TO PENRITH. [chap. vii. 

pretty sly eyes, make her one of the most beautiful of this nu- 
merous and gay tribe of birds. In the streets, too, we met a 
" native companion," or gigantic crane, walking about perfectly 
tame and fearless, being a sort of general pet among the inhabi- 
tants ; he was between three and four feet high, and his enormous 
bill, keen eyes, and grave demeanor gave him a most sapient and 
dignified appearance as he stalked along, peering about, and some- 
times pausing before one of the shop-doors, to take a more minute 
survey of matters within. But the chief glory of Parramatta 
in the bird-line is now, alas ! no more. This was a tame mag- 
pie at one of the inns, of whose fluent conversation and wonder- 
ful ventriloquism I have heard most surprising stories, but I 
never saw the prodigy myself. 

On quitting Parramatta the following day, we passed near 
Government House, which is beautifully situated in a fine do- 
main, and frequently visited by the governor. Sir Maurice 
O'Connell, commander of the forces in Australia, now resides 
there. The road to Penrith passes occasionally through pleasant 
scenery, though chiefly monotonous enough, and the intense heat 
made me almost incapable of enjoying anything ; added to which, 
the indescribable chirruping, creaking, and whirring of myriads 
of grasshoppers (dust-hoppers more properly), that seemed to fill 
all space around us, was almost intolerable ; and what was very 
extraordinary, these unwelcome musicians were wholly invisible, 
nor could the most rigid observation detect them. They seemed 
to be a little below the surface of the loose dusty soil, and ceased 
their noise when I approached them. I afterwards detected some 
of their kindred at Bathurst, at least the voices were the same, 
and found them to be insects of the true grasshopper shape, with 
small wings, and about an inch long ; but these colonies swarm 
with an immense variety of these long-legged insects of all sizes, 
from a quarter of an inch to two inches in length, and of all 
colours ; brown in every shade (particularly the tints of withered 
grass and dead gum-leaves), green of the brightest hues, grey, 
black, reddish, and purple. Many of the large ones are very 
handsome and curious creatures. 

Penrith is a long village, containing a few pretty, and many 
new, raw-looking houses, profusely adorned with green paint on 
the windows, shutters, verandas, and railings, and some had 

chap, vii.] NEPEAN RIVER -EMU PLAINS. 63 

very nice flower-gardens in front. We drove through the town 
to an inn some distance beyond it, close to the ferry over the 
Nepean, the first river I had seen in the colony, and the only 
one I did see there. The fine view of the Blue Mountains, rising 
beyond the level Emu Plains on the other side the river, beguiled 
me into walking in a garden on the banks till driven away by 
the clouds of mosquitoes ; and as we sat in the veranda after 
dusk, I observed a single bright fiery spark glancing swiftly 
about in front of the house, now rising high into the air, and 
again falling, darting quickly to and fro, and occasionally rest- 
ing a few seconds. On inquiry, I was told it was a fire-fly ; but 
I was not aware that the bright creatures were found in New 
South Wales, nor did I ever observe more than this one. 

I was told of an amusing incident which occurred to a new 
arrival during our stay. The traveller in question, putting on a 
most nnportant aspect, walked into the stable, where the ostler 
was busy in his various duties, and pointing to a horse, inquired 
if he had been fed. " Yes, sir." " Give him another feed 
now directly." It was done. " Now, ostler, let that horse be 
ready for me at six o'clock to-morrow morning. Do you hear ?" 
" That horse, sir? That isn't your horse, sir!" "No? Then 
which is my horse ?" The steed was pointed out, and the pro- 
prietor departed. " Who is that person ?" asked Mr. Meredith 
of the grinning functionary. " Can't say, sir ; but I reckon he 's 
a gen'leman wot's newly cotched !" 

Early the following morning we resumed our journey, in com- 
pany with a friend with whom we had arranged to travel the 
remainder of the way. Ourselves, carriages, and horses were 
safely ferried over the Nepean in a large punt, or railed raft, and 
landed on the opposite bank, when we drove merrily along 
the Emu Plains, so named no doubt from the flocks of emu for- 
merly found there ; but as civilized, and therefore doubly destruc- 
tive, man advances in a new country, he invariably exterminates 
or scares away the timid creatures that have for ages dwelt there 
undisturbed ; and now these noble birds have become unknown, 
except in the almost untrodden districts of the interior. I saw 
two tamed ones in a part of the government domain at Sydney ; 
they are most noble-looking birds, and seemed quite happy in the 
comparative freedom they enjoyed. Their eggs are of a rich 


dark-green colour, with a rough surface, like the rind of a coarse 
orange, or shagreen, and are about the size of those of an ostrich, 
which bird the emu resembles in general appearance, though 
handsomer and less awkward. 

We had a fine view of the long range of the Blue Mountains 
before us, and of the abrupt gorge through which the Nepean 
flows before reaching Penrith. This pass is described as being 
extremely grand on a nearer approach, as indeed it must be, from 
the perpendicular height of the mountains, and the large volume 
of water pouring through so narrow a channel. 

After driving for about two miles over the level plains, we 
reached the foot of Lapstone Hill, the first ascent, up which an 
excellent road has been made, winding along the side of the 
mountain, with high overhanging rocks on the left hand and a 
deep wooded ravine on the right. The wild scenery and the 
zigzag road reminded me of some of the " passes of the Alps," 
as drawn by Brockedon, save that our ravine had no foaming 
torrent roaring down it ; and it was only by most intent observa- 
tion that I could detect something like moisture trickling over 
the rocks, where an opening in the trees left the far-down stony 
bed visible. 

It was October, and, as I have before remarked, the spring 
months are by far the greenest in this land of ever-browns ; 
so that I saw the country under rather favourable circumstances, 
although the severe droughts of the two preceding years had de- 
stroyed the artificial crops, and even the native grasses, to a 
deplorable extent. Still, among these lofty mountains and in 
their shady recesses the trees and shrubs grew in unchecked 
luxuriance, and yielded me many a new and beautiful flower. As 
we slowly wound up the steep ascent, and the folding hills nar- 
rowed the view behind us, the scene was most picturesque and 
striking. Far on before us we could see the white-gleaming road 
still climbing higher and higher ; looking back, the plains, 
reduced to a triangular section by the closing hills, were fast 
receding from the landscape; gigantic crags, piled high overhead, 
were mingled with an endless variety of tree, shrub, and flower ; 
and far below, from the depths of the ravine, the opposite side of 
the pass rose almost perpendicularly, till its upper trees seemed 
to cut against the bright, unclouded, blue sky. I was quite de- 

chap, vii.] THE " WARATAH." 65 

lighted, and thought that if all our progress over the dreaded 
Blue Mountains were as pleasant and interesting as the com- 
mencement, the journey would be much less wearisome than I 

I had often been told of the " waratah " ( Telopea speciocissima), 
and its grand appearance when growing ; and as we drove along, 
instantly recognised from the description the first of these magni- 
ficent flowers we saw, and soon after came more into their especial 
region, which is about half-way up the height of the mountains, 
few being seen either far above or below this range. From the 
temperature, I should think their cultivation at home would be 
easy, and it would well repay some pains to have such noble 
flowers added to the treasured wealth of English gardens. The 
stem is woody, and grows perfectly straight, from three to six 
feet in height, about the thickness of a walking-cane, and bearing 
rich green leaves (something like those of the oak, but much 
larger) all the way up. At the top of this stem is the flower, 
entirely of the brightest and richest shade of crimson-scarlet. A 
circle of large spreading petals forms its base, from which rises 
the cone or pyramid of trumpet-like florets, three, four, or five 
inches high ; the whole flower being much the size and shape of 
a fine artichoke. Sometimes the stems branch off like a candela- 
brum, but more generally the flowers grow singly, one on each 
stalk, and look like bright flambeaux amidst the dark recesses of 
these wild forests. Unfortunately I had no opportunity of mak- 
ing a drawing of one, having no materials at hand on our journey, 
and failed to procure a flower during our stay in Sydney. The 
few plates I have seen give but a very faint idea of this most 
stately and regal flower. 

66 " COUNTRY INN "—BREAKFAST. [chap. viii. 


A " Country Inu " — Breakfast — Contrasts — A Bush Ramble and digression 
about Ants — Mountain Scenery — Cattle-skeletons — " Weather-board " Inn 
— Supper and Night at "Blind Paddy's" — Mountains and the Surveyor's 
Roads — Mount "Victoria — Convict-gangs and Bush-rangers — Inn at the 
" Rivulet" and its Inhabitants — The ruling Vice. 

After driving for some miles nearly all up-hill, we stayed to 
breakfast at a small way-side public-house, where the slovenly 
slipshod women, dirty floors, and a powerful odour of stale 
tobacco-smoke, gave me no very favourable expectations of 
cleanliness or comfort. On the smoke-stained walls hung some 
very highly coloured and showily framed prints, representing 
young gentlemen with red cheeks and very blue coats trying to 
look very hard at young ladies in pink gowns with very large 
sleeves ; and severally inscribed, " The Faithful Lovers ;" " The 
Betrothed;" " The False One," &c. ; ingenious distinctions of 
character, which it would have been extremely difficult to dis- 
cover from the portraits alone. 

In many places you find some particular dish more generally 
in vogue than others, but in New South Wales one universal 
reply follows the query of " What can you give us to eat ?" and 
this is, " 'Am an' eggs, Sir ;" " mutton-chops " forming the 
usual accompaniment, if required. So ham and eggs we had, 
and mutton-chops too ; but from their being fried all together, in 
the same dark-complexioned fat, the taste of these viands was 
curiously similar, and both of impenetrable hardness. Unless 
great care is taken, meat spoils so soon in this climate, that the 
custom among most persons is to cook it almost as soon as killed, 
which of course precludes the possibility of its being tender. 
Tea, with black sugar, but no milk, and bread without butter, 
completed the repast, with the addition of "damper," a composi- 
tion respecting which there are divers opinions, some persons 
preferring it to bread, whilst I think it the worst way of spoil- 

chap, viii.] A « DAMPER." 67 

ing flour. The etymology is perhaps " Dampier," this indigestible 
food (an excellent damper of a good appetite) being supposed 
by some persons to have been invented by the great circumnavi- 
gator, and the manufacture is this : — A stiff dough is made of 
flour, water, and salt, and kneaded into a large flat cake, two or 
three inches thick, and from twelve to eighteen broad. The 
wood-ashes are then partially raked from the hot hearth, and the 
cake being laid on it, is heaped over with the remaining hot 
ashes, and thus bakes. When cut into, it exceeds in closeness 
and hard heaviness the worst bread or pudding I ever tasted, 
and the outside looks dirty, if it is not so : still, I have heard 
many persons, conversant with every comfort and luxury, praise 
the " damper ;" so I can only consider my dislike a matter 
of taste. In " the bush," where brewer's yeast cannot be pro- 
cured, and people are too idle or ignorant to manufacture a sub- 
stitute for it (which is easily done), this indurated dough is the 
only kind of bread used, and those who eat it constantly must 
have an ostrich's digestion to combat its injurious effects. 

At the period of which I am writing, wheat in Sydney had 
reached the exorbitant price of 10/. 16s. per quarter, to which 
every mile of distance from thence added cost, and this naturally 
induced every one to economize flour as much as possible ; accord- 
ingly ground maize, boiled rice, and other things were added to 
the bread for this purpose, making it hot, bitter, or unpleasantly 
moist, as the case might be, but I do not remember seeing one 
instance of the flour being used unsifted, as it is in so many 
families at home, from motives of health or preference, although 
it might have been so used at such a time of dearth with manifest 

Adjoining to this comfortless habitation (called an inn) was 
a small plot of potato-ground, but no attempt at neatness or 
improvement was visible ; all was slovenly and neglected. The 
dirt and indescribable combination of ill smells within, was but 
a type of the state of things without. In the rear of the house 
one vast undistinguished rubbish-heap spread around, bounded 
only by some wretchedly dilapidated outhouses and stables, and 
reeking with foul exhalations, on which, and its more tangible 
delicacies, a large conversazione of pigs seemed to luxuriate most 
satisfactorily. Several children were lying or lounging about in 


68 CONTRASTS— ANT-HILLS. [chap. viii. 

close companionship with the pigs, equally dirty, but apparently 
less lively. Miserable creatures ! I thought of the contrast between 
them and children in a similar station at home, for this wretched 
place would rank with the " Lion" or " Traveller's Rest" of a 
country village in England, with its couple of clean white-draped 
spare chambers, and its gay best parlour as neat and bright as a 
new pin. The landlady, a rosy comely dame with a cap of 
driven snow and smart flowered gown ; the landlord, in cords 
and blue stockings, velveteen coat, and sturdy figure, a beau ideal 
of an English yeoman ; and the children — most of them are at 
school, but the rest, what clean, shiny, red, laughing, frolicsome 
young rogues they are ! Look on this picture and on that ! 
No — not again ; so whilst my companions enjoyed their cigars in 
the cobwebbed veranda, I crossed the road, and was at once 
in the wild bush, where I rambled for some time, interested by 
everything around me, though careful to keep tolerably near the 
house. Strange birds were fluttering and whistling in the trees ; 
thousands of grasshoppers, large and small, leaped up wherever 
I went, tumbling down again in their helpless way, with all 
their legs abroad, and taking a few seconds to gather themselves 
into place again for a fresh jump ; myriads of ants, of various 
sizes and species, were as busy as ants always are, running hither 
and thither, up and down the smooth-barked gum-trees, in long 
lines reaching from the ground far beyond my sight into the tall 
branches ; and here and there, near some old or fallen tree, a swift 
little lizard would dart into his hole, giving me barely time 
enough to see that he was not a snake, of which fearful creatures 
I have a just and most intense terror. 

In the course of this and the following day's journey we passed 
many of the gigantic ant-hills common in some parts of New 
South Wales. They are great conical heaps of finely worked 
earth cemented into a hard mass, and from six to ten feet high, 
with no visible orifice outside, nor did I see a single ant about 
them, though I closely examined several. I have been told they 
are the work of a white ant, and, from their magnitude, should 
suppose them the habitation of a species of termite. When cut 
open, they display numerous small cells, but on our journey I 
had neither time nor inclination to destroy and investigate their 
domestic arrangements myself. The earth of which these ant- 

chap, vin.] SWARMS OF ANTS. 69 

hills are formed, is so finely prepared by the little architects 
that it is used by the settlers in the neighbourhood as plaster, 
and frequently as cement for floors. Many various kinds of ants 
inhabit New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land ; I know 
about a dozen species myself. One is a very formidable-looking 
personage, full an inch long, with a shiny coat of mail gleam- 
ing purple and blue, and a threatening sting, which I am told 
inflicts a most painful wound, as severe as that of the hornet. 
Besides these are several other large kinds, some entirely black, 
others with red heads, bodies, or legs. One, with black body and 
yellow forceps, not only acts on the defensive, but openly 
attacks any one passing too near him, by jumping at them, and 
stinging or biting severely ; I have often been surprised to ob- 
serve the distance they can spring when irritated or disturbed. 
Of the smaller kinds the numbers " are as the sands upon the sea- 
shore." They swarm in every part of the bush, and infest houses 
to an intolerable degree. In our house near Sydney, and also 
our present residence in Van Diemen's Land, I have been 
excessively annoyed by them ; not an atom of anything sweet can 
be hidden from their attacks : sideboard, pantry, storeroom, 
cellar, and kitchen, are all alike besieged by the industrious little 
torments. They bury themselves in sugar, and drown in jam, 
cream, custards, or tarts ; and their odour and taste are so in- 
describably nauseous, that their repeated visitations become rather 
expensive. Setting the forbidden viands in vessels of water 
seemed a perfect remedy, but still the ants gained access to them, 
and to my amazement I saw whole squadrons of the tiny black 
army deliberately marching across the water, and climbing the 
dishes within. Some particles of dust had no doubt fallen on the 
surface, and enabled them to step over dry. Ants are certainly 
most interesting creatures (always providing they preserve a 
respectful distance from one's grocery and sweetmeets), and in 
the bush I often watch them with great pleasure and without an 
idea of disturbing them. One day I observed a bright yellow 
circle on the ground, and on stooping to see what it might be, 
discovered a quantity of the golden-coloured petals of a small 
kind of cistus which grew near, neatly cut up into little bits 
(about the sixteenth of an inch wide), heaped all round an ant- 
hole, and crowds of my tiny household foes or their relatives busy 

70 MOUNTAIN SCENERY. [chap. viii. 

in various ways. Some were running about the low branches of 
the cistus bushes, carrying fragments of the petals towards the 
heap ; others, busy " getting in" the harvest, would come up 
the hole, seize on a bit of the treasure, and, with the aid of 
four or five more, pull it down below. Sometimes two parties 
M r ould bring their burden just to the opening at the same 
moment, and as the passage was only wide enough for one 
set at a time, a furious and determined struggle took place 
as to which should first succeed, which, like many disputes 
among larger animals, seemed to make up in violence what it 
wanted in magnitude. I watched the indefatigable little crea- 
tures for some time, until I became quite cramped from my 
crouching position, and still the same routine of business went on 
with unabated activity. 

" Mais revenons a nos moutons !" — We continued our journey 
through a wild and barren country, utterly destitute of herbage ; 
the inhospitable Blue Mountains were before, behind, and on 
either side of us, rising in grand and dreary monotony of form 
and colour. Forests of tall gum-trees covered them from base 
to peak, but instead of a beauty in the landscape, these were a 
deformity. All bore the marks of fire far up their branchless, 
blackened stems, and in many places the burning had been so 
recent, that for miles the very earth seemed charred, and not 
even a stunted shrub had sprung up again. The trees, huge 
masses of charcoal to all appearance, had no branches till very 
near the summit, and these bore only a few scattered tufts of 
rusty leaves, scarcely casting a visible shadow, and affording no 
shade. The steepest ravines had not the semblance of water 
in their dry dreary depths, and but for the fearful quagmires 
and deep holes in the road (which made the utmost care in driving 
requisite to avoid an upset over the precipice), one would not 
have thought that rain or dew ever visited this desert region. 

The main portion of the road is bad beyond an English com- 
prehension ; sometimes it consists of natural step-like rocks pro- 
truding from the dust or sand one, two, or three feet above each 
other, in huge slabs the width of the track, and over these 
"jumpers" as they are pleasantly termed, we had to jolt and 
bump along as we best might. How our springs stood such 
unwonted exercise is an enigma still ; but as a vehicle of the ba- 


rouche species, crammed in every imaginable corner with live 
freight and luggage, had passed the inn whilst we were at break- 
fast, I am inclined to think that springs in colonial use must be 
made of sterner stuff than I had hitherto given them credit for. 

The track we were now traversing usually winds terrace-wise 
along the side of a steep mountain, and is barely wide enough any- 
where to allow of two vehicles passing each other. All the produce 
of the settlers in the upper country is conveyed to Sydney by this 
road, and farm supplies taken up from thence : therefore it is no 
uncommon thing to meet a train of six or eight heavily laden 
drays (for the continual depredations of bush-rangers render it 
advisable that several should travel in company), each drawn by 
eight, ten, or twelve oxen ; and to encounter such a caravan 
on the narrow mountain road is by no means a desirable incident. 
The patience and docility of the ox are justly proverbial, but un- 
fortunately colonial drivers are less gifted with these virtues, and 
their violence, ill-temper, and brutal usage often seem to bewilder 
the poor weary creatures, who, having no harness but bows and 
yokes, twist round and entangle themselves, much to their own 
peril and that of any passing horses or carriages. We once 
narrowly escaped a serious accident from this cause, by driving 
down the bank, steep as it was, out of the way. 

Two years of desolating drought had preceded our arrival in 
Sydney, and the melancholy proofs of its ravages among the 
brute creation met us here at every turn, in the remains of un- 
fortunate oxen, that had perished of want in their toilsome 
journeys over the mountains, where neither food nor water re- 
mained for them ; and as the dray-journeys from the distant sta- 
tions to Sydney occupy from three to six weeks, the lingering, 
protracted misery endured, even by the wretched animals who 
survived, is horrible to contemplate. In some places by the road 
side white skeletons alone remained ; farther on we saw other car- 
casses still covered with hide ; then bones again ; and so on, con- 
tinually meeting these terrible proofs of the poor brutes' suffer- 
ings and death. It recalled to my mind descriptions I have read 
of the caravan-tracks in the sandy deserts of Africa, where the 
bleached bones of animals that have perished in the journey 
serve as guides to future travellers*. 

The climate changed materially as we gained the higher re- 

72 "BLIND PADDY'S" INN. [chap. vin. 

gions of the mountains, becoming quite cold, and I gladly- 
Wrapped up in cloaks and furs ; our companion, who usually drove 
within hail of us, retired into a grotesque cloak-hood-and-coat 
sort of a garment, made of the thick furry opossum-skins of the 
Colony, and looked like an exaggerated Esquimaux, as we caught 
a glimpse of his portly figure now and then through the thick 
flurries of sleety rain that swept round us, the sudden squalls 
being too furious for any umbrella to live in them. So, laughing 
merrily (when the wind did not take our breath away), we drove 
briskly on, our destination for the night being the " Weather- 
board " inn (so named from its being built, like many houses in 
the Colony, wholly of wood, the walls consisting of thin boards 
lapped one over another, nailed to upright slabs or posts, and 
lathed and plastered within). What was my dismay, as I was 
just ready to alight, cold, tired, and hungry, at the door of this 
mountain refuge for the destitute, on our being informed that 
the house was full, and not a sleeping-place to be had ! A native 
settler returning from Sydney to Bathurst with his wife and 
family were in possession of all the accommodation. These were 
the occupants of the loaded carriage I had seen, who, with more 
foresight than ourselves, had pushed on as rapidly as possible in 
advance, and seized upon the whole establishment. After a short 
debate it was determined to go on six miles farther, to a smaller 
hostel, known as " Blind Paddy's,'* though it was nearly dark, 
and raining fast. However, on we went, " through bush and 
through brier," to say nothing of holes and rocks in the road ; 
and in process of time, long after dark, reached our little inn, very 
wet, and colder and hungrier than ever. A couple of decent 
elderly women appeared to do the honours, and ushered us into a 
small but clean whitewashed room, gaily adorned with feathers, 
shells, and the droll little pictures usually found in such houses : 
a bright wood-fire was soon crackling and blazing merrily on the 
white hearth ; the homely table was quickly spread with a coarse 
but snowy cloth, and supper most expeditiously prepared, con- 
sisting of the never-failing dish " ham and eggs," chops, damper, 
tea, and — crowning luxury of all — a dish of hot mealy potatoes, 
smiling most charmingly through their cracked and peeling 
skins. Wine in such houses as this is rarely drinkable, but ex- 
cellent English ale (at 3s. 6d. per quart bottle) is generally found 


in them, so that our repast was by no means contemptible, and 
the air of plain homely cleanliness about the arrangements added 
to all an unwonted relish. 

A tolerable night's rest in a room about the size of our ship- 
cabin, with a clean dimity bed and window-curtains, and no worse 
nocturnal visitants than a moderate party of the universal " light 
infantry," left me quite recruited and ready for setting forth 
again on our onward journey, after a breakfast very similar to 
our supper, or rather dinner, of the preceding evening. 

Our route still lay through the same wild, monotonous scenery 
as the day before. The sight of vast mountain-ranges spread 
all around, folding in and behind each other as if they filled all 
space, could not be otherwise than grand in the extreme, but it 
was most dreary, desolate grandeur. Trees without foliage, hills 
and valleys alike destitute of verdure, chasms and ravines yawn- 
ing beside us, without a thread of water in their arid, stony 
depths, made up such a world of desolation, that the contempla- 
tion of it became absolutely oppressive, and I gladly listened 
to glowing descriptions of the green and beautiful plains of 
Bathurst, which we were to reach the following day. 

In one place we came to an almost precipitous descent in the 
road, called " Soldier's Pinch," or " Pitch," most probably from 
some accident which has happened there. It was a mass of loose 
stones, continually rolling from under the horses' feet, and so 
steep as to be very fatiguing even to walk down, which I pre- 
ferred doing, not being quite reconciled to such roads for driving 
on. At the foot lay huge masses and heaps of wood, trees of all 
sizes having been hooked on to the drays at the summit of the 
Pitch, to prevent their rushing down suddenly, despite locked 
wheels, and overrunning the unfortunate oxen. If Major 
Mitchell, when Colonial Surveyor, had turned his attention 
and directed his men's labour to such places as this, and reme- 
died their dangerous character, he would have rendered great and 
essential service to the colonists ; but in the generality of instances 
his road has been made where a good bush-track formerly existed, 
and the really bad and dangerous portions remain in very many 
instances untouched — at least such was the case when I crossed 
the mountains. I could not avoid noticing likewise, that Major 
Mitchell's road, wherever originally marked by him, was almost 

74 • MOUNT VICTORIA. [chap. viii. 

invariably carried over the summits of hills, whilst level valleys 
lay within a few hundred feet ; and as we proceeded, I looked 
out for the highest peaks ahead of us, knowing by experience that 
the surveyor's road would lead us over them. I was informed 
that a determination to adopt no other person's suggested line of 
road was the reason of this most inconvenient and fatiguing 
route being resolved on, and I have since heard that a new sur- 
vey is to be made, and a more level and rational track marked out. 

The only portion of the present road for which I can give 
Major Mitchell great credit is the Pass of Mount Victoria, 
by far the most grand and striking scene in this mountain region. 
As we approached it, a huge barrier of rocks seemed to close up 
the onward path, till a sudden turn showed us a gorge cut in them, 
through which we drove, with a high wall of crags on the right 
hand and the lofty summit of the mount towering up on the 
left. Another turn brought us out of the chasm, and in full 
view of a most grand and beautiful landscape. The road was 
carried (from the opening of the chasm) by an arch and em- 
bankment across a deep valley that lay below, called the Vale 
of Clwydd, and along the side of the opposite mountain, till it 
gradually reached the level of the valley beyond. We stayed 
some minutes on the embankment to enjoy the prospect, so re- 
freshing to eyes weary of the dark desolate sterility of the scenes 
we had just emerged from. On the left hand, the high rocky 
range of which Mount Victoria forms a part nearly enclosed the 
narrowing valley, the lower portions being overgrown with gum 
and wattle (Acacia) trees, amidst which grotesque rocks rose 
up here and there like fantastic ruins. From the deep water- 
courses that were plainly visible on the mountain-sides, the 
stream running through the vale must sometimes be considerable ; 
but at the time we passed it was dry, and its tolerably green 
banks, shadowed by groups of graceful young gum-trees, had 
quite a smooth and lawn-like aspect as compared with the rough 
country around. On the right hand the same long range of pre- 
cipitous rugged heights continued, stretching away to the north- 
east ; and safely girdled by their fortress-like and frowning walls 
lay the pretty vale of Clwydd. 

Clustering richly about the shrubs near Mount Victoria I first 
observed the lovely " native indigo" of New South Wales (Kenne- 


dia ovata ?). It is a delicate little climbing plant, with slender 
stems, long, narrow, blunt leaves, and a profuse quantity of small, 
violet-blue pea-shaped flowers, growing in long sprays, and 
completely clothing any bush or fence where it flourishes. We 
had alighted on the archway, to enjoy the view at leisure, and I, 
as usual, indulged my rambling and scrambling propensities by 
a descent into the ravine below, where I found many lovely 
flowering shrubs, including some dozen species of acacia, some of 
them very fragrant. 

A large gang of convicts were stationed here road-making, 
and several of them importuned us for money or tobacco, show- 
ing such truly villainous countenances that the idea of being 
waylaid by bush-rangers gained tenfold horror, and the know- 
ledge that many were out made me often look very earnestly 
at a misshapen gum-log or crooked tree, fancy transforming it 
to "a highwayman, with pistols as long as my arm." In one 
place, we met a couple of soldiers in search of some newly - 
escaped convicts ; they were running about in a half-stooping 
position, peeping and thrusting their fixed bayonets into every 
thin bush and low tussock of grass where a man could not by 
any possibility be hidden, with most valorous resolves no doubt, 
but cutting rather a ludicrous figure. I am not aware if they 
succeeded in their chace, but have strong suspicions that they 
did not. 

A comparatively level road succeeded to the grand mountain 
pass, and we journeyed on to our mid-day resting-place, called 
the " Rivulet," the little stream at this place being by some re- 
markable accident rightly named. A new, glaringly smart- 
looking inn here promised tolerable accommodation ; it was as 
fine as twenty differently coloured kinds of paint could make it. 
Panellings and "pickings-out" of rainbow hues were set off by 
pillars of imitative and varnished marble, the like of which no 
quarry ever knew ; and these again, touched up with bronze- 
paint and gilding, gleamed in the sun with almost dazzling lustre. 
A good veranda led by French windows to the two front rooms, 
into which I walked, without seeing any inhabitants or attendants. 
A few gaudily painted chairs, a small bad mirror in a large gilt 
frame thickly shrouded in yellow gauze, and a new cedar table 

76 ' INN AT THE ■ RIVULET." [chap. viii. 

covered with tobacco-ashes and liquor-stains, composed the fur- 
niture of either apartment. After a long and ineffectual sonata 
on the hand-bell (no other description being- seen, save in a very- 
few of the very best colonial houses), just as I began to despair 
of its power, a young girl shuffled along the hall from some of 
the back settlements, and holding fast by the door-handle, for 
she was almost too much intoxicated to stand, took my orders 
for luncheon, and after many vain attempts at length succeeded 
in wiping the table with a ragged, very dirty apron. Her dull 
light-coloured hair hung in matted tangles about her neck and 
ears ; her dress was disordered, torn, and dirty ; and her face 
bloated and stupid from the effects of drink ; — never did drunken- 
ness wear a more revolting aspect, and I felt relieved when the 
wretched creature left the room. My companions had a similar 
tale to tell of the male portion of the establishment ; every soul 
was drunk, and it was some time before they could arouse any 
one to attend to the horses. The same unfortunate girl I had 
before seen, laid our cloth, and brought what we wanted, or 
rather what we could get, for I imagine the copious libations 
indulged in by the whole household had made them regardless 
of eating, and the larder was accordingly very ill supplied. 
Bread and a few eggs (positively without ham !), which our 
ministering Bacchante rolled on the floor as she staggered in with 
them, formed our repast, but she took pains to impress upon us 
the pleasing assurance that " There was plenty o' ale an' sperrits." 

We strolled down to the banks of the little rivulet, where I 
found many beautiful flowering shrubs, and the verdure of the 
adjacent little flats showed how excellent a garden might be made 
there, but I fear never will ; idleness and drinking are such be- 
setting sins, and money to provide them both so easily earned by 
" keeping a public" in this Colony, that nothing demanding 
bodily exertion is attempted. Meat can run about and feed itself 
on the wild hills, and flour they can buy ; fruit and vegetables 
they " don't heed," as they would demand some little labour to 

As we returned towards the house, I looked at it again, as it 
stood in raw, shiny, comfortless newness, like a great toy freshly 
unpacked. Behind it lay a crowd of dirty, old, ruinous hovels, 

chap, vin.] THE RULING VICE. 77 

that formerly served in its stead, and still were used as outhouses, 
stables, &c., all broken, and half unthatched. All the fences 
within sight exhibited the same dilapidated aspect, whilst ash- 
heaps and other less sightly things lay all around. How different 
would be the state of almost everything in this Colony, were that 
greatest curse man ever created out of God's good gifts, intoxi- 
cating liquor, less easily obtained by those who ought to be the 
industrious and prosperous, but, alas ! too generally are the idle 
and worthless part of the community. Time, money, character, 
decency, feeling, principle, ambition, and honesty — all are sacri- 
ficed to the demoralizing passion for rum, when once it gains the 
ascendency ; and to know how often that is, we need only observe 
and listen to the sad evidence so continually passing around us. 
I perhaps praise the tidy appearance and good cookery of a 
friend's servant : " Ah ! yes, she is an excellent cook, but we can 
so seldom keep her sober" The coachman of another seems 
quite a model for his class, till you hear he is so confirmed a 
drunkard that his mistress dares not trust him to drive her home 
alone from a party. Another family have an honest old " major- 
domo," faithful and good in every other point ; may be trusted 
with " untold gold," but not with a bottle of rum. It is a uni- 
versal failing, and a really sober servant or mechanic may con- 
sequently be held as a pearl of great price. Age and sex make 
no difference ; your dainty lady's-maid or pretty young nurse- 
girl is just as likely to be over-liberal in her libations to 
Bacchus as your groom or shoeblack ; and no threats, no bribes, 
no punishments avail to keep the besotted creatures from the 
dram-bottle, if it be by any means or in any shape accessible. I 
have known a female servant drink camphorated spirits of wine, 
and suspect the same individual of consuming a pint of hartshorn 
which mysteriously disappeared about the same time from my 
room ; its evident strength being no doubt too tempting. Eau 
de Cologne and lavender-water, I know, they drink whenever 
they are left about, or anything else believed to contain spirit. 
The universality of this vice is most dreadful to contemplate, 
and far worse to witness and endure. Almost the only exceptions 
among the lower classes are the families of English emigrants, 
who, accustomed to poor living and hard work at home, continue 
sober and industrious, thankful for the many hitherto unknown 

78 THE KULING VICE. [chap. yiii. 

comforts and luxuries they can enjoy, and carefully and fearfully 
abstaining from all excess. Of this class I have known excellent 
examples, both old and young, male and female, and can only 
hope that in time their better and wiser course may be ap- 
preciated and emulated by other portions of this now numerous 

chap, ix.] " HASSAN'S WALLS." 


'• Hassan's Walls " — Grass-trees — Mount Lambey— Victoria Inn — Specimen 
of Benevolent Politeness — Colonial Bridges — First View of Bathurst — 
The" Settlement" — Dearth— Climate— Hot Winds — Processions of Whirl- 
winds — Hurricanes. 

Our road now lay over hilly ground again, sometimes skirted by 
live trees and a slight semblance of herbage, and often approach- 
ing in wild and sterile grandeur the scenery we had before tra- 
versed. A singular range of perpendicular cliffs form a striking 
feature in the landscape at a place called " Hassan's Walls." 
These walls or cliffs rise, I should think, to a height of about 
300 feet perpendicularly above the road, and their summits, 
broken and fissured in various fantastic forms, exactly resemble a 
ruined castle crowning the brow of the sheer precipice, with 
here and there a stunted tree or graceful shrub growing from 
crevices in the dark rock. Had I been travelling in an old 
country, I should at once have decided that these were truly the 
ruins of some mighty mountain-fortress of former days ; loop- 
holes, arches, battlements, and buttresses were, as it seemed, so 
clearly remaining, and extending far along the airy heights of 
these genii-haunted crags, for such I half fancied them, especially 
when a turn in the road gave to view a colossal head standing 
well out against the clear, bright, blue sky, and bearing a 
strong resemblance to the venerable and veteran Duke of Wel- 
lington. We paused to contemplate the rude though striking 
likeness ; and then, as we slowly drove on, the features changed, 
and a judge with a flowing wig stood frowning down on us ; 
another turn, and another change came over the mountain statue, 
and then it again resolved itself into a mere turret of the hoary 

80 GRASS-TREE. [chap. ix. 

ruin. I thought of the mysterious castle of St. John,* with its 
wizard transformations, and of how much romance would attach 
to these fantastic crags in a romantic or legendary country ; but 
the existence of poetry or imagination in New South Wales is 
what none who know and have felt the leaden influence of its 
ledger and day-book kind of atmosphere would believe it guilty 
of suffering. 

The grass-tree (Xanthorrhoea arboreal) is one of the most 
strikingly novel plants I observed in our mountain journey, and is 
common in most hilly or rocky places both in New South Wales 
and Van Diemen's Land. A young grass-tree appears merely a 
large reedy-leaved plant without a stem, the leaves being very 
long, narrow, and sharp, and growing erect for a foot or more, 
then curving over and nearly touching the ground, forming 
a thick boss or circle ; but as the tree becomes older, the lower 
circles of leaves drop off, the young growth all rising from the 
centre ; and in time a thick stem appears, from one to eight or 
ten feet in height, and two feet in circumference, rough with the 
scars left by the fallen leaves, and bearing on its summit an im- 
mense drooping cluster of foliage, which reminded me of a palm- 
tree (although, it must be confessed, by rather a clumsy resem- 
blance). From the centre of this cluster the scape rises like an 
enormous bullrush or typha, frequently measuring ten feet and 

* " Midmost of the vale, a mound 
Arose, with airy turrets crown'd, 
Buttress, and rampire's circling bound, 

And mighty keep and tower. 
Seem'd some primeval giant's hand 
The castle's massive walls had plann'd. 

* * * * 

But the grey walls no banners crown'd ; 
Upon the watch-tower's airy round 
No warder stood his horn to sound ; 
No guard beside the bridge was found ; 
And where the Gothic gateway frown'd, 
Glanc'd neither bill nor bow. 

* * * * 

This dismal keep, 
Which well he guess'd the hold 
Of wizard stern, or goblin grim, 
Or Pagan of gigantic limb, 
The tyrant of the wold." 
For the magic and gramoury of the Castle, vide Sir Walter Scott's ' Bridal 
of Triermain.' 


more in height, the spike being about a foot long, of a yellowish 
brown colour. Groups of this very singular plant often give a 
picturesque and somewhat Oriental aspect to an otherwise unin- 
teresting landscape, some being old, crooked and deformed, 
hump-backed and knobby ; others erect and stately, bearing their 
verdure like a royal diadem ; whilst the young ones, sitting close 
to the ground in all humility, look up to their patriarchal neigh- 
bours with the patient hope of one day rivalling their nobler 
growth. A resinous gum exudes from the grass-tree, said to 
resemble in great measure the " dragon's blood " prepared from 
the Pterocarpus and Calamus. Boiled with oil, it has, I believe, 
been successfully used for covering the bottom of vessels, instead 
of pitch. I have also heard that the natives cut out the pith of 
the trunk to eat. 

The next point of our route having any claim to the pictu- 
resque was the rocky ravine at Cox's River ; the sight of clear 
running water is always pleasant, but nowhere more delightful 
than in so dry and thirsty a clime as this. The ruins of numer- 
ous huts, formerly occupied by a convict-gang at this spot, gave 
it rather a desolate look ; but the clear little brook (for such in 
England should we call this river) gurgling merrily over its 
pebbly bed, had a sweet music in its voice that made me forget 
all disagreeables. We tasted, and then crossed it, and imme- 
diately began the steep ascent of Mount Lambey, which rises 
abruptly from the river's bank. This mount had been the highest 
point in our landscape all day, and accordingly, despising all 
humbler and easier tracks, over its very summit passes Major 
Mitchell's vaunted road. Seven long miles of climbing were 
before us, up as bare, sterile a mountain as ever gloomed on a 
wayfarer's path. The rock is a splintery slate, not unlike many 
in old South and North Wales, and its dark grey and purple hue, 
stained in places with a rusty tinge, gave a dismal monotony to 
the scene, which scarcely a shrub or herb appeared to relieve. 

An inn has very wisely been built half-way up this inhos- 
pitable mountain, and there, at the auspicious sign of the Queen 
Victoria, we purposed remaining the night, which was fast 
approaching, for the rapid departure of twilight leaves little time 
after sunset available for travelling. After a weary pull of four 
miles, the gracious countenance of our fair Queen (somewhat 



libelled by the artist, it is true) beamed on our most loyal and 
rejoiced eyes from amidst a chaos of crown, sceptre, red drapery, 
and ermine ; and our tired horses, after a last resolute effort, 
stopped at the inn door. At the same moment we heard a hand- 
bell sharply and loudly rung within, and after a minute's delay 
the landlord appeared at our summons, with the pleasing intelli- 
gence that he was very sorry indeed, but he could not accommo- 
date us. As it was impossible to proceed farther in this case, 
there being no other habitation within a long stage, and our 
horses knocked up, Mr. Meredith and Mr. Campbell declared 
their determination to stay at all events ; and again questioned 
the landlord, who then admitted his own willingness to receive 
us (and who of his class ever voluntarily rejected good cus- 
tomers ?), which he could easily do at some trifling inconvenience, 

but Mrs. (whose party had the preceding evening excluded 

us from the " Weather-board ") was there, and the instant we 
stopped had ordered that no one else should be admitted, as they 
had taken all the house I This most overbearing monopoly, how- 
ever, did not prevent our being comfortably installed in a snug 
little parlour, and a tolerable bed-room, which some of the land- 
lord's family vacated for us, whilst the sofa in the sitting-room 
was made up into a bed for our companion. I am well aware 
that had we been known at the time, the conduct of this " lady " 
would have been very different ; but at such an hour, and in such 
a place, no woman possessed of common humanity would have 
desired to turn a beggar from the door. The pride of wealth, 
unmixed with aught of better or nobler feeling, is too often the 
sole and engrossing principle and characteristic of persons raised 
by some fortunate chance to that kind of rank which in these 
Colonies, where the worship of Mammon reigns triumphantly, is 
at once accorded to the rich : " What has he ?" not " What is 
he ?" being the test ; and this petty superiority is often the 
foundation of absurd and selfish importance, of which the above 
trifling incident is an apt illustration. 

I am happy to say we found the members of this royal esta- 
blishment sober, industrious, and civil ; a most welcome contrast 
to the inn at the Rivulet, and, despite our unpropitious reception, 
were tolerably comfortable. 

The following morning we again set forth, and after complet- 


ing the ascent of Mount Lambey, proceeded to descend its oppo- 
site side, a far more pleasing task, especially as the surrounding 
country gradually assumed a less wild and inhospitable aspect. 
There is one little peculiarity in Colonial bridges, at least those 
usually met with on roads like the one of which I am treating, 
which it may be proper to mention ; namely, that it is always 
far safer to plunge into the stream, morass, or ravine they stretch 
across, and wade or scramble out the best way you can, horses, 
carriage, and all, than to trust their treacherous and far more 
dangerous conveniency, for, like the celebrated bridge planned by 
Jack the Giant-killer for the destruction of the two-headed 
Thundel, they are apt to part company just as the passenger has 
passed too far to recede. In one place I remember seeing men 
erecting a stone bridge, with strong, good masonry ; but the usual 
contrivance of a few long poles, covered with turfs, is far from 

We rested about mid-day at a tidy public-house, which, al- 
though the fair hostess is believed to suffer from the prevailing 
thirst after strong drinks, we found very neat and clean ; the 
miniature apartments set forth with bright Birmingham tea-trays, 
conch-shells, and the beautiful tail of the lyre pheasant, whilst 
the whitewashed walls and dimity curtains preserved their purity 
most surprisingly in this fly-tormented country. We had expe- 
rienced the effects of the drought in the exorbitant charges made 
for the horses at every place we stopped at ; and here, for a few 
handfuls of bad hay, ten shillings were added to the other items 
of the bill. 

Journeying on, we arrived in process of time at the spot whence 
the first view of those lovely and verdant plains of Bathurst, of 
which I had heard so much, was to greet my delighted eyes. 

" There, look ! Do you not see them through the trees ?" 

1 did look, anxiously and eagerly, directing my eye-glass to- 
wards every point of the compass in succession ; still nothing green 
could I discern, but on a nearer approach beheld a wide extent 
of brown earth, with occasional flurries of dust passing across 
it ; and this was all that remained of the so- vaunted Bathurst 
Plains ! Every blade of grass and every green herb had disap- 
peared during the drought, and a dry desert usurped their place, 
whilst a few thin, weak, widely-separated little roots of dry, 

G 2 

84 BATHURST. [chap. ix. 

withering everlastings ( Gnaphalium) were the only things bear- 
ing the semblance of vegetation. It was very dreary ! 

We drove along the tedious road across the plains, which just 
undulate enough irt places to prevent a person from seeing en- 
tirely over them, and that is all ; no hill, grove, or tree, scarcely 
a bush, breaks the heavy, weary monotony, till the tired eye 
rests on the dim outline of the distant hills. At length a few 
straggling houses and a church showed us that we approached 
the settlement ; but as this is divided into two portions about a 
mile asunder, with the deep channel which is sometimes (water 
permitting) the river Macquarie between them, we had yet farther 
to go. The second division of the township contains the gaol, 
police-office, female factory, barracks, Scotch chapel, and bank, 
with several stores and small shops of a most heterogeneous cha- 
racter, where you may find iron pots, writing-paper, blonde lace, 
fire-arms, Dutch cheese, " P. coats," crockery, and various other 
commodities, though very rarely the one article you require. 
The private dwellings are of all grades, but chiefly of the smaller 
class ; and the public-houses, as compared with the others, very 

The bank, then the residence of near relatives, was our desti- 
nation, and most welcome to me were the happy quiet and rest of 
the next few days, after our not very long, but tedious and 
fatiguing journey. 

Bathurst, being the last township on the " up-country road," is 
comparatively a place of some importance, and frequently visited 
by settlers from the less civilized districts beyond, to whom 
it is a kind of half-way metropolis, as well as being in their direct 
road to Sydney, whence there is a mail-cart twice a week (the 
distance being 120 miles) ; a strange-looking two-wheeled vehicle, 
carrying the post, the driver, and two passengers when required. 
Travelling both night and day, and over the chief part of the 
delectable roads I have faintly described, at a hand-gallop, it is 
not exactly the conveyance to be selected by nervous or com- 
fortable persons. How the whole concern escapes destruction, at 
least once a week, seems miraculous ; but with the favourite bush 
assurance of " No fear, Sir !" away they go, driving at the pace 
of a hunt over ground that would make a steeple-chaser look 
twice ; and if there be no fear, there is certainly far less danger 

chap, ix.] DEARTH— CLIMATE. 

than might be supposed, for I do not remember hearing- of above 
half a dozen accidents during our residence in the Colony. 

We found Bathurst still suffering severely from the devas- 
tating and ruinous consequences of the terrible drought. Every 
article of food was extremely dear, and nothing good could be 
procured at any price. Meat was lean to starvation, and flour 
liberally adulterated with various cheaper ingredients ; vegetables 
there were none ; butter and milk had long been but a name ; 
and all horse corn, hay, &c, so extremely scarce, and exorbitantly 
dear, that the neighbouring families had for some time ceased to 
use their carriage-horses, the poor animals not having strength 
to perform any work. The cost of a horse at livery was then one 
pound per night, and it had recently been two pounds. Visiting 
Bathurst under such peculiarly unfavourable circumstances, I 
could not be expected to form any very high opinion of its beauties 
or advantages ; every one told me how very charming a place it had 
always been, and so I am bound to believe it was, and may be 
again ; but as I saw it, the inevitable impression on my mind was 
of a most dreary and unpleasing character. Its position, in the 
middle of a large plain, some twenty miles across, combines many 
disadvantages, one of the greatest being the distance which all the 
fire-wood used in the settlement has to be brought, and its conse- 
quent high price ; one pound being given for a small load, which 
in most places in the Colony, where it costs nothing, would not 
serve for more than a winter day's consumption in a moderately- 
sized household (indeed I believe more is burned in our kitchen 
alone), but here a much greater economy is necessary ; and as 
the cold is often as extreme here in winter as the heat is in sum- 
mer, the scarcity of fuel is a serious evil. 

I found the climate of Bathurst still less pleasant than that of 
Sydney, as in the latter place, however oppressive be the heat, the 
mid-day sea-breeze moderates it in some degree ; but the plains 
of Bathurst (although considerably elevated), being shut in on all 
sides by lofty ranges of mountains, must endure without any re- 
lief their own oven-like atmosphere, the temperature of which is 
frequently increased tenfold by a " hot wind," when it seems 
as if a fiery blast from a huge furnace pervaded all space around, 
rushing into the house through every opening with the force of 
a hurricane. My English habit of flinging wide open all doors 

86 HOT WINDS. [chap. ix. 

and windows in warm weather, I here found (as a matter of 
course, so near the antipodes) a most imprudent course to pursue, 
as the only chance of preserving a moderately endurable exist- 
ence during the continuance of the sirocco is, immediately on 
its approach to shut every door and window, and with closely- 
drawn blinds to await, as patiently and movelessly as half-suffo- 
cated mortals may be expected to do, the abatement of the terri- 
ble visitation. With us, however, a few hours of faintness, thirst, 
and misery generally comprise the whole evil (though sometimes 
the hot winds blow almost without intermission for several days), 
but the luckless fields and gardens escape not so easily. Every 
green thing looks as if a salamander had been held over it, either 
drooping and dying, or dried up like half-burned paper. I have 
seen large tracts of cultivated land, covered with luxuriant green 
crops of wheat, barley, or oats just going into ear, scorched, 
shrivelled, absolutely blackened by the heat, and fit for nothing 
but to cut as bad litter. Less important, though extremely vex- 
atious, is the destruction caused in gardens, where the most deli- 
cate and beautiful flowers are ever the first to wither under the 
burning breath of this fervid Air-king. 

These siroccos always blow from the north-west, and by 
some persons are supposed to derive their heat from tracts of un- 
known deserts in the intertropical regions of this island-continent. 
Their power is felt strongly, though less frequently, in Van 
Diemen's Land. One might almost fancy the Ancient Mariner to 
have experienced one during his ghostly voyage, he so accurately 
describes their aspect : — 

" All in a hot and copper sky 
The bloody sun at noon 
Right up above the mast did stand, 
No bigger than the moon." 

I several times observed at Bathurst a phenomenon by no means 
unusual on the large plains of New South Wales, in dry weather, 
being a procession across them of tall columns of dust — whirl- 
winds in fact, which preserve a nearly uniform diameter through- 
out their whole length, the upper end seeming to vanish off, or 
puff away like light smoke, and the lower apparently touching 
the earth. They move in a perpendicular position, quietly 
and majestically gliding along one after another, seeming, at the 

chap, ix.] WHIRLWINDS. 87 

distance I saw them, to be from seventy to a hundred feet 
high, and about twenty broad. Thus viewed, they do not 
appear to travel particularly fast, but Mr. Meredith tells me 
he has vainly endeavoured to keep pace with them for a short 
time, even when mounted on a fleet horse. When they are 
crossing a brook or river, the lower portion of the dust is lost 
sight of, and a considerable agitation disturbs the water, but im- 
mediately on landing the same appearance is resumed. As some 
vanish, others imperceptibly arise, and join the giant-waltz ; and 
when I first observed this most singular display, I amused myself 
by fancying them a new species of genii relaxing from their 
more laborious avocations, and having a sedate and stately dance 
all to themselves. When the dance ends, these dusty perform- 
ers always appear to sit down among the neighbouring hills. 

I never heard of these gregarious whirlwinds being at all mis- 
chievous ; they only pick up dust, leaves, little sticks, or other 
light bodies, which whirl round in them with great velocity ; but 
other and far more terrible visitations occur in the hurricanes, 
which, like those of the western world, devastate the tract of 
country over which they pass. Mr. Meredith, in returning from 
his visit to the Murrumbidgee, encountered one of the most fear- 
ful of these terrific tempests. At Bathurst on the same day we 
had a violent thunder-storm, with a heavy fall of rain and large 
hailstones, but the fury of the tempest passed chiefly near the 
river Abercrombie. I shall avail myself of my husband's obser- 
vations in his own words : — 

" I have often seen the effects of former hurricanes in New 
South Wales, the indications being the total destruction of all trees 
in the course the hurricane had taken, which course I generally 
observed to be from the north-west. The length to which the 
devastation extended I had no opportunity of estimating, but the 
breadth averaged from 400 to 800 yards. On one occasion I 
saw the spot where a hurricane had terminated in a whirlwind. 
My companion and myself had ridden for some distance along the 
path it had pursued, the direction of which was plainly indicated 
by the trees it had uprooted in its course all lying one way ; the 
termination was as plainly shown by a circle, in which the trees 
lay all ways ; and such is their partiality, or rather, so clearly 
are the boundaries of both hurricane and whirlwind defined, that 

88 HURRICANES. [chap. ix. 

in cases where the blast did not reach the trunk of a tree, the 
branches were torn off from one side, without uprooting the 

"In the beginning' of November, 1839, I was journeying 
from Goulburn to Bathurst by the direct route of the Aber- 
crombie river, through a wild country, covered almost entirely 
with forests of very lofty gum-trees. On my departure from 
Mr. McAllister's station in the morning, the wind was blowing 
strong, and the sky betokened tempestuous weather. As the day 
advanced, the gusts of wind became more and more violent, occa- 
sionally bringing down the branch of a tree. When I had 
arrived within three or four miles of the Abercrombie river the 
air became suddenly warm, and a few flashes of vivid lightning 
accompanied by loud thunder denoted the approach of a storm. 
A strong instinctive sensation of fear came over me, such as I 
never before experienced ; and in a short time, perhaps a minute, 
I heard a strange, loud, rushing noise ; the air grew rapidly dark 
and thick, and my horse was evidently, like myself, under the in- 
fluence of intense fear, and trembling violently. I exclaimed 
(although alone), * This is a hurricane ! ' and jumped off my horse 
at the end of a fallen tree ; the poor animal endeavoured to 
shelter himself by backing under a growing tree, which I pre- 
vented by a violent pull at his bridle, and then for the space of a 
minute or two saw nothing ; the hurricane, for such it was, had 
reached me, and everything was in total darkness. I fell on my 
knees, still holding my horse's bridle. The roaring, crashing 
sound was deafening, but it soon passed by, and the atmosphere 
again became clear enough to admit of my observing surround- 
ing objects. My horse and myself stood alone in what a few se- 
conds before had been a high and dense forest ; every tree was 
prostrate, either broken or uprooted, including the one from 
under which I had luckily pulled my horse, its ponderous trunk 
lying within a few feet of us. Fortunately the track of the hur- 
ricane was in the same direction as that in which the fallen tree 
lay at the end of which I dismounted, and thus the small space 
was left which saved us both. Immediately that the hurricane 
had swept by, the rain fell in torrents, exceeding anything I 
ever witnessed in the tropics, and a heavy gale continued for two 

chap, ix.] HURRICANES. 89 

The horse Mr. Meredith had with him then, a beautiful crea- 
ture, and a great favourite, retained an evident recollection of 
his terror in the hurricane long after — indeed, until we parted 
with him, on leaving the Colony. If a branch of a tree only- 
lay before him in the road, or a twig blew across him, he 
would look fearfully at it, start, snort, and tremble, which, as 
he never used to notice such things before the occasion above 
mentioned, we believed to be the result of some remembrance or 
association in his mind. Perhaps the term mind is wrong as 
applied to a brute, however noble in nature, but this evident 
memory seems something above instinct. 

90 SOCIETY AT BATHURST. [chap. x. 


Bathurst Society and Hospitality — " White Rock " — Native Dance and Cere- 
mony — Kangaroo Dance — Appearance of Natives — Children — " Gins ;" 
their marriage-slavery and sufferings — Family Dinner-party — Adopted 
Children — Infanticide — Religion — " Devil-devil " — Language — Story of 
Hougong and Jimmy — " Ay, Ay ? " — Duties of the Toilet — Native Songs — 
Mimicry — Fondness for English Dress — Boundary Laws — Legal Parricide 
— Habitual Treachery. 

It savours strongly of an Irishism to say so, but the chief 
inhabitants of Bathurst live at some distance from it ; many of the 
wealthy, and also higher class of settlers, having farms and good 
residences within a few miles, which renders the society superior 
to that of Colonial settlements in general. Nearly all are situ- 
ated on the verge of the plains, combining both the flat and hilly 
country in their surrounding scenery, and their gardens and vine- 
yards, which at the time we were there were slowly recovering 
their former verdure and luxuriance, seemed morsels of a brighter 
world, when compared with the arid waste around the township* 
Among these the pretty and picturesque residence of our good 
and venerable friend Captain Piper is as much distinguished by 
its beautiful situation as by the long-proved worth and hospitality 
of its owner, than whom I heard of no person in New South 
Wales more universally respected. Hospitality is so general a 
feature in Australian society, and I remember with so much 
pleasure the kind attentions which I, as a " stranger in the land," 
received for my husband's sake, that only a very remarkable pre- 
eminence would induce me to break my prescribed rule of ab- 
staining from all personal allusions in these pages. 

About three miles from Bathurst, near a pretty cottage on the 
Macquarie (in a district chiefly granite), is a singular group of 
low rocks rising abruptly from the turf of the plains, and per- 
fectly white ; they appeared to me to be masses of pure quartz, 
of which many specimens occur a few miles higher up the river. 


Pebbles of very clear quartz crystal are sometimes found in the 
neighbourhood, but the natives search for them so successfully, 
that I only picked up one or two small ones. 

These crystals, although by no means rare, are preserved as 
" charms " by the Aborigines, being given to them by their 
doctors, or " Crodjees," after a variety of ceremonies, which Mr. 
Meredith describes to me as highly absurd, he having been pre- 
sent at the rites, when performed by a tribe at Dundunemawl 
on the Macquarie, about forty miles below Wellington Valley. 
Great preparations were made, as for a grand Corrobbory, or 
festival, the men divesting themselves of even the portions of 
clothing commonly worn, and painting their naked black bodies 
in a hideous manner with pipe-clay. After dark they lit their 
fires, which are small, but kept blazing with constant additions 
of dry bark and leaves, and the sable gentry assembled by degrees 
as they completed their evening toilettes,^// dress being painted 
nudity. A few began dancing in different parties, preparatory 
to the grand display, and the women, squatting on the ground, 
commenced their strange monotonous chant, each beating accu- 
rate time with two boomerangs. Then began the grand corrob- 
bory, and all the men joined in the dance, leaping, jumping, 
bounding about in the most violent manner, but always in strict 
unison with each other, and keeping time with the chorus, 
accompanying their wild gesticulations with frightful yells and 
noises. The whole " tableau " is fearfully grand : the dark wild 
forest scenery around — the bright fire-light gleaming upon the 
savage and uncouth figures of the men, their natural dark hue 
being made absolutely horrible by the paintings bestowed on 
them, consisting of lines and other marks done in white and red 
pipe-clay, which give them an indescribably ghastly and fiendish 
aspect — their strange attitudes, and violent contortions and 
movements, and the unearthly sound of their yells, mingled 
with the wild and monotonous wail-like chant of the women, 
make altogether a very near approach to the horribly sublime, in 
the estimation of most Europeans who have witnessed an 
assembly of the kind. In the midst of the performance on this 
occasion, two men advanced, bearing between them a large piece 
of bark, about six feet high and three feet wide, rudely painted 
with red and white clay, the design consisting of a straight line 

92 CONJURERS. [chap. x. 

down the middle, and diagonal ones thickly marked on each side. 
The exhibition of this wonderful and mystic specimen of art 
caused extreme excitement and admiration, and the bearers held 
it in the midst of the dancers, who bounded and yelled around it 
with redoubled energy. Presently the oldest " Crodjee" present 
approached the charmed bark, and walked slowly round and 
round, examining it in every part, and then carefully smelling it, 
up and down, before, behind, and on all sides, with grave and 
reverential demeanour. This was to " find where the charms 
lay," which charms, consisting of small crystals, he had of course 
concealed about his person. After a great deal of smelling and 
snuffing, he commenced violently sucking a part of the bark, and, 
after some other manoeuvres, spat out a " charm" into his hand, 
and went on sucking for as many as were then required. 

These charmed crystals are kept with great care by the posses- 
sor, his wife usually having charge of the treasure, which she carries 
in the family " wardrobe," and the loss of one is esteemed an 
awful calamity. The charm-sucking ceremony takes place at the 
full moon, the time generally chosen by the natives for such cele- 
brations. In this instance the Crodjee's part of the performance 
was very clumsily done, and Mr. Meredith asked one of the men, 
the following day, "if he were such a fool as to believe that the 
Crodjee really sucked the crystals out of the bark ?" The fellow 
winked, nodded, and looked wondrously wise, and intimated 
that he certainly knew better, but that it would not do to say so. 
And thus is fraud perpetuated, alike by savage and by civilized 
men, and thus ever do policy and expediency take the place of 
truth and honesty ! 

One of the aboriginal dances is called " the Kangaroo dance," 
and one man, wearing a long tail, drops down on his hands and 
feet, pretending to graze, starting to look about, and mimicking 
the demeanour of the animal as nearly as possible ; the others, in 
the character of dogs and hunters, performing their part of the 
play in a circle round him, at a very short distance. 

The natives I saw at Bathurst were less ugly and better pro- 
portioned than I expected ; the men being far superior to the 
women, though none of them are tall or largely made ; six feet is 
a most extraordinary size among them. The sable picanninies 
were naked, long-armed, large-stomached, little bodies, giving 


one the idea of a new sort of spider ; I never had seen a black 
child before, and did not see enough of them then to familiarize 
me with the novelty. Several of the men knew Mr. Meredith, 
and whilst I was one day making some purchase in a store, one 
of them accosted him at the door, pointing at the same time to 
me. " Lady there, that Gin 'long o' you? — Ay, Ay ?" " Yes, 
that's my Gin." — " Ay, Ay?" Then somewhat banteringly, 
" Bel you got Gin (you have no Gin) ; poor fellow you — you 
no Gin !" A "poor fellow" meaning a bachelor, and the pos- 
session of a wife, among them, being in fact equivalent to keep- 
ing a servant, as the unfortunate Gins perform all the labour. 

Judging from what I have heard, I imagine that their marriage- 
customs are as truly savage as any other of their strange cere- 
monies. Polygamy is general among all who can attain the 
desirable wealth of several wives, though few have more than 
two living with them at one time. 

Female children are sometimes "promised" in infancy to 
their future husbands (frequently decrepit old men), and others 
appear to be taken by means of force and ill usage, as is the case 
among many savage nations. The men are always tyrannical, 
and often brutally cruel to their unfortunate wives, who really 
seem to occupy as miserable and debased a position, in every 
respect, as it is possible for human beings to do. I never before 
heard of, or could have conceived, any state so pitiable and so 
utterly degraded. If some of the zealous Missionaries of whom 
we hear so much were to endeavour to raise the moral and social 
condition of these wretched creatures, and to teach them a few of 
the simple principles and virtues of Christianity, they would in- 
deed be worthily employed. 

Severe personal chastisement is among the lesser grievances 
of the poor Gins. One day Mr. Meredith saw one of them crying 
most bitterly, and asked what was the matter. She replied, that 
she was going to get a beating because she had accidentally broken 
her husband's " pyook" (pipe). Mr. Meredith directly went to 
the fellow, and tried to dissuade him from his brutal purpose ; 
but in vain, unless another pyook were given him, on which con- 
dition he would let her off. Unfortunately there was not one to 
be procured ; and notwithstanding all my husband's persuasions, 
and his representations to the black tyrant of the simple fact, 

94 NATIVE FOOD AND MEALS. [chap. x. 

that even if he killed his wife, that would not make him a new 
pipe, he remained doggedly sulky, and the next morning the 
poor Gin appeared with her arm broken, from the cruel beatino- 
he had given her with a thick stick. Such instances are of fre- 
quent occurrence. 

These poor unhappy wretches are slaves, in every social sense, 
and are not even permitted to feed but at their husband's plea- 
sure, and off the offal he may choose to fling them, although on 
them devolves the chief care of providing the materials for the 
repast. Two meals a day is the full allowance of the natives ; 
but as they cook all they have for supper, and gorge themselves 
then to their utmost ability, breakfast depends on the possible 
remains of the feast. Their usual food consists of kangaroos and 
opossums roasted whole, without any portion being rejected ; and 
they greedily devour garbage, entrails, &c. of any kind they can 
pick up, quantity rather than quality being the desideratum as 
regards provisions. Sometimes they feed more daintily, procur- 
ing turtle, fish, wild turkeys' eggs, guanas, snakes, 1 and some 
large kinds of grubs, which are reckoned great luxuries. Occa- 
sionally the women dig up a bitter hot root, not unlike a bad 
radish, which serves them for a meal, in default of better 

Each family have their own fire, round which they sit to eat. 
The husband first takes the opossum, &c, tears it to pieces and 
gnaws off his own favourite morsels from the joints, which he 
then hands over his shoulder to his wife, who waits patiently 
behind him ; and should food be scarce, her supper is a tolerably 
light one. The children are " helped" much in the same manner ; 
and when, either from having eaten as much as they can, or all 
they have, the family have finished their repast, they crouch 
round the fire and go to sleep. ' 

The single men, emphatically termed " poor fellows," have 
one fire in common ; and with them, as with the family group, it 
is a point of etiquette to hand round their half-gnawed bones to 
one another. 

Great fondness is usually displayed by parents for their children 
(if they survive the perils of infancy), and instances have often 
occurred of a couple, who had several little ones of their own, 
adopting some poor friendless orphan, and freely bestowing on 


it an equal shaj^ of their scanty food. Such cases I have known 
frequently among the poor at home : they who have least to give, 
and are consequently most intimate with the misery of want, 
have the greatest compassion and charity for fellow-sufferers. 

Although they appear to treat their children kindly when they 
can in some measure help themselves, yet infanticide is frequent 
among the women, who often dislike the trouble of taking care 
of their babies, and destroy them immediately after birth, saying 
that " Yahoo," or " Devil-devil," took them. One woman, whom 
Mr. Meredith saw a day or two after the birth of her baby, on 
being asked where it was, replied with perfect nonchalance, " I 
believe Dingo patta !" — She believed the dog had eaten it ! 
Numbers of the hapless little beings are no doubt disposed of 
by their unnatural mothers in a similar manner. 

I never could make out anything of their religious ideas, or 
even if they had a comprehension of a beneficent Supreme Being ; 
but they have an evil spirit, which causes them great terror, 
whom they call " Yahoo," or " Devil-devil :" he lives in the tops 
of the steepest and rockiest mountains, which are totally inac- 
cessible to all human beings, and comes down at night to seize 
and run away with men, women, or children, whom he eats up, 
children being his favourite food ; and this superstition is used 
doubtless as a cloak to many a horrid and revolting crime com- 
mitted by the wretched and unnatural mothers, who nearly 
always, when their infants disappear, say " Yahoo" took them. 
They never can tell which way he goes by his tracks, because he 
has the power of turning his feet in any direction he pleases, but 
usually wears them heels first, or, as they express it, " Mundoey 
that-a-way, cobbra £to-a-way" (feet going one way, and head 
or face pointing the other). The name Devil-devil is of course 
boiTowed from our vocabulary, and the doubling of the phrase 
denotes how terrible or intense a devil he is ; that of Yahoo, 
being used to express a bad spirit, or u Bugaboo," was common 
also with the aborigines of Van Diemen's Land, and is as likely 
to be a coincidence with, as a loan from, Dean Swift ; just as their 
word " coolar" for anger, very nearly approaches in sound our 
word choler, with a like meaning. 

I have seen a vocabulary of the language used by the native 
tribes near Adelaide, together with a few particulars touching 

96 LANGUAGE— WARRIORS. - [chap. x. 

their superstitions and customs,* but the words wholly differ 
from those used to express the same thing- by the tribes about 
Bathurst, Goulburn, and the Murrumbidgee. I have been told 
by a friend of Mr. Meredith's, who had made himself thoroughly 
acquainted with many of the tribes, and was known among them 
as the " chief who spoke their tongue," that great diversity of 
dialects exists among them — not slight variations merely, but a 
distinctly different vocabulary, of which he gave me many strik- 
ing instances. As my few examples of their patois will show, 
the natives who are acquainted with the settlers soon acquire a 
curiously composite tongue, where English words sometimes mas- 
querade in most novel meanings, but so arranged as to be very 
soon understood, especially if used to beg anything. 

In all the tribes some particularly solemn ceremonies are per- 
formed previously to a youth's being permitted to rank among 
the warriors, or " men ;" but these take place in a very secret 
manner, not even the women being present. One of the initia- 
tory rites, as practised among some tribes, is the knocking out 
one of the novice's front teeth. 

The natives pay great respect to old age ; that, and valour, 
comprising the only distinctions of rank allowed among them. 
The best righting man is the chief or head of his tribe, and in 
case of his death, the next best takes his place, and inherits his 
wives. The other warriors and the old men form a sort of 
council, which is convened as occasion demands, when peace, 
war, and all other points of importance are discussed and decided 

A man named Hougong was some time chief of a Maneroo 
tribe, and another, called Jimmy the Rover, was second-best man. 
Jimmy mortally hated Hougong, but contrived to conceal his 
animosity under the mask of extreme friendliness, which, as 
his chief was no doubt as great an adept at hypocrisy as himself, 
was of little consequence. One day Jimmy went to a stock- 
keeper in the neighbourhood, to propose that he should ask them 
both to go duck-shooting, and requesting the loan of two guns, 
one of which should be loaded with ball, for himself, the other 
with powder only, for Hougong. " Well, me and Hougong go 

* In a paper by John Philip Gell, Esq., of Hobart Town, published in the 
Second Number of the ' Tasmanian Journal.' 


out look for duck, ay, ay. Bel make-a-light duck ! — Den me 
pialla Hougong — ' Good many time you want fight along 
o' me ; now fight, like it white man, along o' musket.' Well, me 
pialla — i You shoot first time.' Well, that fellow shoot. ' Ah ! 
you 'tupid fellow, bel hit it !' Den me shoot ; directly tumble 
down Hougong !" 

Which notable speech, rendered into English, would be, 
" Well, I and Hougong shall then go and look for ducks. Ay, 
ay — we don't see any ducks. Then I say to Hougong, ' You 
have wanted to fight me many times ; let us fight now, like white 
men, with muskets.' Well, I say, 'You shoot first.' He shoots. 
— ' Ah, you stupid fellow, you did not hit me !' Then I shoot, 
and Hougong falls dead !" 

Shortly after the failure of this most treacherous and cold- 
blooded scheme of murder (for of course he was refused the 
guns) Jimmy heard that Hougong was dead. Great were the 
lamentations raised for their brave chief by his tribe, and most 
vehement and vociferous of all were the howlings and groanings 
of Jimmy the Rover. A friend of Mr. Meredith's, who was pre- 
sent at part of the mourning, found Jimmy full of public woe 
and private exultation, venting the latter in theatrical asides to 
those in his confidence, during the impetuous outpourings of his 
tumultuous stage-effect grief, beginning at the top of his voice, 
and howling most hideously down its whole gamut, more like the 
yelling of a discontented dog than any other vocal performance 
I am acquainted with. 

" Oh ! oh ! oh ! oh ! Ooo-oo-oo-oo-ah ! [Cabou (big) rogue that 
fellow Hougong !] Oh ! oh ! oh ! oh ! Oo, oo, oo-oo. [Now he 
dead, directly me maan (take) his Gins !] Oh ! oh !" and Da Capo. 

Accordingly, as soon as decorum and etiquette permitted, the 
triumphant Jimmy prepared to go and take possession of his new 
honours, when who should arrive, alive and well, but the defunct 
and bemoaned Hougong himself! — and who, on hearing of 
Jimmy's kind intentions, promised him a sound beating for his 

The various expression conveyed by the peculiar " Ay, ay," 
so constantly used by the natives in speaking, is perfectly inde- 
scribable. It is used doubtfully, positively, interrogatively, or 
responsively, as the case may be, and contains in itself a whole 

98 DUTIES OF THE TOILET. [chap. x. 

vocabulary of meanings, which a hundred times the number of 
words could not convey in writing. Suppose you inquire of a 
native if he have seen such and such a person pass, as he has 
gone that way : — " Ay, ay ?" (interrogatively.) " Yes, a tall 
man." — "Ay, ay" (thoughtfully). "A tall man, with great 
whiskers." " Ay, ay (positively). Good way up cobbra, cabou 
grasse; ay, ay" (corroboratively). 

" Good way up cobbra," means " head high up ;" grasse is used 
to express hair, beard, or moustache ; and cabou means great 
deal, or very much. The aborigines wear no beards themselves, 
but a friend of ours, who had cultivated a most patriarchal 
growth of that commodity, excited great awe and admiration 
among them. 

The labour and pains they bestow on their corrobbory toilets 
prove thSm by no means insensible to the advantages of personal 
beauty, although their manner of enhancing their natural charms, 
in adding a thick stratum of pipe-clay to their usual coating of 
grease and other accumulations, seems indeed " as wasteful and 
ridiculous excess " as " to paint the lily, or throw a perfume 
on the violet." In lieu of 

" Rowland's inestimable oil Macassar," 
their black elvish locks are always plentifully loaded with opos- 
sum or snake fat, which unsavoury unguent, as may be imagined, 
adds its share to the powerful and not too-pleasing odour natural 
to them. 

A sable exquisite preparing for an evening party first undresses, 
then thrusts a large lump of pipe-clay into his mouth to soften, 
and when of a proper consistency uses his forefinger as a pencil, 
dipping it into the composition, and carefully dispensing the 
cherished ornament over his person. Having, with infinite regard 
to the general effect of the pattern, accurately striped and crossed, 
and wavy-lined and dotted every accessible part of his figure, he 
selects a trusty friend on whom devolves the important and re- 
sponsible office of finishing off the work of adornment ; and this 
done, no reigning belle of the season ever entered Almack's 
with more consciousness of all-powerful beauty than he feels in 
taking his place among the equally elaborate costumes of his 
companions. I fear the poor young squaws, or " Gins," have 
but little to do with their own disposal in marriage ; but doubt- 

chap, x.] NATIVE SONGS— MIMICRY. 99 

less many a tender heart must be touched by these D'Orsays of 
the wilderness ; and many a pipe-clayed hero is painted in inde- 
lible tints on the memory of love. My husband's animated and 
pantomimic descriptions of these scenes have often made me 
laugh heartily ; but a second-hand detail must of necessity lose 
much, if not all the interest. 

The aboriginal songs which I have heard are far from unpleas- 
ing in sound, and some have considerable melody, with much 
more tune and variety than those of the New Zealanders, which 
surprised me, as the latter people are so immeasurably superior 
to the natives of New South Wales in everything else. The 
words which the latter sing usually celebrate some great feast, 
nearly all being about eating. One (translated) runs nearly 
thus : — " Eat great deal ; eat, eat, eat : eat again, plenty to eat ! 
eat more yet ; eat, eat, eat !" &c. &c. ; and this is sung to a 
rather plaintive, pretty air ! Another song consists of a like 
repetition of " Wind blow, blow ; wind blow," &c. ; the air being 
really pretty. The events celebrated by these songs are seldom 
of a very dignified description. On one occasion a bullock- 
driver, known to some of a tribe, got drunk, fought his com- 
panions, and had a black eye, which occurrence was imme- 
diately immortalized by his black friends in a ditty, of which the 
burden, chiefly English, was " Black-eye, black-eye," with repe- 
titions endless, the remainder being in their own language. I 
remember once hearing some one say of modern fashionable songs, 
" What is the use of saying the same thing so many times over ?" 
but t hese native troubadours far exceed the most echo- weary of 
drawing-room ballads, for, as I conceive, the self-same reason, a 
lamentable paucity of ideas. 

Most of the natives are shrewd and clever mimics ; one learned 
to waltz very correctly in a few minutes ; and the slightest pecu- 
liarity of face or figure never escapes their observation, so that 
jn speaking of any person you know, although his name be not 
mentioned, their accurate impersonation of his gait, expression of 
countenance, or any oddity of manner, is so complete as to leave 
no doubt of the identity. Their fondness for portions of European 
clothing is well known, and I have heard of many amusing instances 
of its display. One Wellington boot was sometimes worn, unac- 
companied by any other article of apparel, and great was the pride 



and grandeur of him who could button his upper man in a. dress- 
coat, that alone being considered an ample costume. Other gar- 
ments were subjected to various modes of wearing, for which 
they were never intended, legs being inserted where arms should 
be, and vice versa. 

The gift of a brass medal, formerly a rare distinction, is now 
made so frequently by settlers to natives who have served them 
well in any way, that the honour of the badge is somewhat di- 
minished ; but the pride with which the possessor wears and 
displays the insignia of his order is most amusing. The " medal " 
consists of a piece of brass in the form of a crescent, not much 
less than a cheese-plate, engraven with the name and style of 
both owner and donor, and worn hung round the neck by a brass 

Some of the native " attaches " to the establishments of settlers 
become useful servants, and are comfortably attired in suitable 
clothes, and their more than erect carriage (for a plumb-line 
dropped from the top of the head would fall some inches behind 
the heel) is still more striking in their civilized than savage cos- 
tume. These men often accompany their masters' drays to Syd- 
ney, and sometimes join the long and toilsome stock-driving ex- 
peditions across to Adelaide ; but even after a sojourn of many 
months with Europeans, and in a comparatively civilized state, 
they invariably return to their old habits, and relinquish their 
smart and comfortable clothes for the corrobbory costume of 
nudity and pipe-clay. 

The companionship of natives in the overland journeys above 
alluded to might perhaps be supposed of service in preventing 
injury or attacks from other natives, but this is far from being 
the case. The whole of the aborigines, as hitherto known, main- 
tain most rigid laws touching all boundary questions, each tribe 
having a certain allotted portion of country, beyond which they 
cannot pass but in peril of their lives, or at least without risk of 
a battle ; and when, even in company with and under the pro- 
tection of their white masters, they traverse these forbidden 
climes, and meet parties of the rightful inhabitants, the adven- 
turous travellers manifest the most intense fear, which, judging 
from the threatening and angry aspect of their foes, is tolerably 
well grounded. 

chap, x.] LEGAL PARRICIDE. 101 

Neighbouring- tribes are generally at war, some of the chief 
causes being acts of trespass and abduction of women ; but the 
battles between them are less murderous than might be expected, 
all being great bullies, and perpetually vaunting of their grand 
resolves, and the numbers they mean to kill ; whilst it often 
happens, that after their spears and boomerangs have been flying 
about for an hour or two, both armies quit the field with un- 
diminished numbers. 

A tolerable idea of their " manners and customs " may be 
formed from an occurrence which took place within Mr. Mere- 
dith's knowledge. An intimation being given by a neighbour- 
ing tribe to that settled near Goulburn, that they would kill a 
certain old man among the latter, a council was held forthwith 
on the subject, and means discussed how this indignity should be 
prevented ; when, after much deliberation, the elders and fighting 
men decided on a most strange and horrible expedient, being that 
the old man's own son should kill him then, and so deprive their 
foes of the pleasure ! The young man immediately rose, took 
two spears, and gave his miserable old father his death-wound as 
he sat, unconscious of any harm, by his fire, although it a was 
some hours before he expired ; his son meanwhile tending him 
with the utmost care and affection. After his death his son and 
the whole tribe mourned and howled over him several days ; and 
then, taking their weapons, they set forth to go and kill as many 
as they could of the other tribe, to avenge the death of the old 
man. They were very successful, leaving several of their foes 
dead ; but the police magistrate of Goulburn, annoyed by their 
fightings, threatened them with punishment, which caused them 
to set off in a large body, and well armed, on a peaceful visit to 
the Bathurst tribe, who received them with all honour and 
civility, and gave a grand corrobbory on the occasion, inviting 
the strangers to see them dance. The Goulburns accepted, but 
came armed with all their weapons ; which Mr. Meredith ob- 
serving, he asked them why they came to a dance armed as if 
for battle. They evaded the question some time, at length 
saying, " If we keep our weapons, very well, all go right ; 
if we come without, directly they jump up coolar" (pick a 
quarrel, or get angry). A greater proof of the habitual treach- 
ery of these people could not be given than this distrust and 

102 HABITUAL TREACHERY. [chap. x. 

suspicion of their own countrymen. From all I have heard, 
I am very much inclined to think my husband's maxim is 
the prudent one : — " Never trust a savage : you may serve 
them, and they may serve you ; but never give them the chance 
of an advantage." 

chap, xi.] NATIVE HUTS. 103 


Native Huts — " Gunyon" — Natives' ingenuity in Duck-snaring and Fishing 
— Native Weapons — Green Frogs — Freshwater Shells — Platypus — Spur- 
winged Plover — Australian Harebell — Convolvulus — Everlastings— Pep- 
permint-tree — Opossums — Natives' Mode of taking them. 

I have often wondered that constant intercourse with Euro- 
peans, and experience of the comfort afforded by a permanent 
and substantial shelter from the inclemency of the seasons in the 
variable climate of New South Wales, has not induced the 
natives to make some rude attempt at building themselves huts, 
especially as they are always very glad to enjoy the benefit of 
dwelling in those of the settlers. But their idleness is wholly 
unconquerable; the uttermost effort they ever make towards 
the formation of a residence being to raise a few strips of bark 
slantingly against a tree, under which they crawl during bad 
weather. Had not these primitive erections been pointed out to 
me as " natives' huts," I confess I should not have had an 
idea that they were anything more than accidental heaps of 

One very wet miserable day a black was crowding in the warm 
chimney-corner of a" squatter's" hut, where my husband was 
present, and some of the party were asking the native why he 
was so idle and stupid as to go shivering about without a home, 
when he might soon build himself a warm hut. He listened very 
quietly to all they had to say, merely observing at last, with 
the air of a man who has arrived at a most philosophical conclu- 
sion : — " Ay, ay ! White fellow think it best that-a-way — Black 
fellow think it best that-a-way ." " Then black fellow 's a T fool 
for his pains," was the uncourteous rejoinder. " I believe so," 
returned the sable stoic, and straightway folding his blanket 
around him, walked calmly out into the pouring rain. 

A native one day was wistfully eying a snug pigsty, where 

104 NATIVE INGENUITY IN [chap. xi. 

the fat grunting inmates were awaiting their supper, which was 
being cracked in a mill by a convict servant ; doubtless their 
idle and obese condition must have seemed to him the ne plus 
ultra of luxury, for he thus feelingly apostrophized the pigs : 
" Ay, ay, budgeree fellow you ! sit in gunyon all day — white 
fellow grind for you !" (Ay, ay, you 're a lucky fellow, can lie in 
a house all day, whilst a white man grinds for you !) 

The word " gunyon," or house, they apply to everything that 
seems appropriated to contain any article. My husband had a 
silver pipe-case for the pocket, and they used to say his pyook 
had a " gunyon all along of himself." A dog-kennel would be 
kl gunyon 'long of dingo," &c. 

To make them industrious is utterly hopeless ; nothing but the 
present urgent want of anything can induce them to make the 
slightest exertion. If a man have one " fig"* of tobacco, and 
you promise him another if he will do such or such a service, 
you must wait until his stock in hand is exhausted, before there 
is a chance of his trying to earn more, though they are always 
anxious enough to beg for " Pyook, nyook, owrangey bit o' 
bacco" (A pipe, and a knife, and a little bit of tobacco). 

A small kind of crayfish frequent the Macquarie, called by 
the natives " moramy," and I was desirous of obtaining some, 
to see and taste, but nothing short of an exorbitant bribe could 
induce the blacks to procure any. They are generally expert 
fishermen, and in their methods of capturing their prey, making 
snares, and other occupations requiring patience and ingenuity, 
they show considerable intelligence and perseverance, despite 
their inherent idleness. 

The contrivance adopted by a tribe on the Murray river for 
catching ducks is particularly clever. They place nets (very 
similar to those used by wild-duck trappers at home) over a 
narrow portion of the river or " creek" which the ducks frequent, 
and then, by chasing and frightening them at a distance, gradu- 
ally drive the birds near to the snare ; the risk is then that they 

* Mr. Meredith tells me that the term " fig of tobacco," so general here, will 
not be understood at home, where the same description is not used. That kept 
here for general use is " Negrohead," and comes in large kegs, packed closely 
in layers of twisted rolls, about eight inches long, and one inch broad ; each 
of these being technically termed a " fig." Idle smokers employ their serv- 
ants to cut it up and rub it, ready for use. 


may fly over it ; to prevent which, the blacks fling- up three- 
cornered pieces of bark high into the air, at the same time 
accurately imitating the cry of a hawk, and the poor ducks, 
stooping to escape the supposed enemy, dart into the snare and 
are caught. 

A very fine and excellent fish is often taken in the Macquarie, 
called the cod, and though not really a species of cod, greatly 
resembles that fish in its general shape and appearance, though 
far more delicious in flavour. The Macquarie cod sometimes 
weighs seventy pounds or more. The natives catch them with 
spears made expressly for the purpose, in the use of which they 
are very adroit. These fishing-spears are twelve or fourteen 
feet long, made of hard wood, usually some kind of Eucalyptus, 
well sharpened at the end, but not barbed in any way. The 
native thus armed crouches or lies down on the overhanging 
bank of the river, or on a fallen tree or old log over the 
water, intently and motionlessly watching his prey. He then 
slowly and stealthily glides his spear down towards the water ; 
then dips it a little way, then pokes it farther and farther, 
so softly as not to alarm the fish ; and when quite certain, 
with one thrust runs it through the unfortunate cod, and brings 
him up. 

The hunting or war spear is quite a different weapon to this, 
made of the same kind of wood, but much shorter and thicker, 
about seven or eight feet long, and barbed for some distance from 
the point, either by notches cut in the wood, or with sharp fish- 
bones, or crystals securely bound on with kangaroo sinews. 
These are most savage-like and fearful weapons, and are thrown 
to a distance of from seventy to one hundred yards, but rarely 
with certain effect beyond sixty. A great additional impetus is 
gained by the manner in which they are thrown. A piece of 
wood called a " wammara," about two feet long, has a notch 
or socket made in its upper end, into which the blunt end of the 
spear is inserted before throwing. The wammara is held in a 
slanting position with the spear horizontally resting in its upper 
end, and on the hand of the spearman, who, in flinging it, suddenly 
gives the wammara a perpendicular position, and adds greatly to 
the force of the blow. 

The " nullah-nullah" is another fighting weapon, made like 

106 NATIVE WEAPONS. [cHAr. xi. 

the others, of hard wood, with a round handle widening towards 
the end into a broad knob, well sharpened on the lower side, 
like the edge of an axe. They have also formidable clubs, for 
which I do not know the native name. 

The " boomerang " had become familiar, by name at least, in 
England before I left, although the toys sold in shops as boome- 
rangs are very unlike the real ones, the use of which is extremely 
curious and ingenious. This weapon consists of a very slightly 
curved, nearly flat piece of hard wood, about two and a half feet 
long, and two and a half inches wide ; its curve, weight, and the 
manner in which it is feathered off to catch the wind, being most 
accurately calculated for it to take the intended direction when 
thrown, different ones being adapted for different aims. It is 
never aimed at the object intended to be struck, but thus : — 
suppose A, B, and C form a triangle ; a man at A throws 
the boomerang towards B, to which point it flies, strikes the 
ground, and, rebounding, turns towards C, where it strikes 
(like a good " canon " at billiards). The accuracy with which 
the natives can hit any object with this singular weapon, and 
the ingenious invention of it, seem worthy of a higher order 
of intelligent beings than they are usually considered. I have 
heard of several persons who have practised throwing the 
boomerang, but none could succeed so as to bear comparison 
with a native. 

The word " waddie," though commonly applied to the weapons 
of the New South Wales aborigines, does not with them mean 
any particular implement, but is the term used to express Avood 
of any kind, or trees. " You maan waddie 'long of fire," means 
" Go and fetch firewood." 

The shields used by the natives are pieces of solid wood about 
two feet long, something in a long diamond shape, with a loop 
or handle to hold them by, hollowed from the inner side. These 
they use with extreme adroitness, fending off blows in every 
direction, which perhaps may partly account for the non-mur- 
derous character of so many fierce encounters among themselves. 
I have heard some of their white friends confess to having found 
an hour's " excellent sport " in shying at them cobs of Indian 
corn, from which the grain had been threshed, but which would 
still inflict rather a heavy blow ; not one of which ever hit the 

chap, xi.] GRASS BASKETS-GREEN FROGS. . 107 

sable target, so nimbly did he ward off every cob with his 
shield, from his legs just as surely as his head, jumping- about and 
grinning all the time in high glee. 

I believe these are all the weapons used by the natives of their 
own manufacture, and these were formerly all cut and made with 
sharp flints or crystals ; but now those acquainted with Europeans 
procure more convenient tools. The women make neat baskets 
and bags of the fine long dry grass common * in these colonies 
(and which I have often thought would make beautifully fine plait 
for hats or bonnets) ; they use the currijong bark, too, for the 
same purpose, -and carry about with them in these bags a most 
strange and useless accumulation of trash. They also sew the 
skins of kangaroos and opossums together (with sinews for thread, 
and fish-bones for needles), and fashion these into garments, rugs, 
or bags. Many of them procure English needles and thread 
from the settlers, and sew with tolerable neatness. 

In the Macquarie, near Bathurst, I first saw the superb green 
frogs of Australia. The liver, at the period of our visit, was 
for the most part a dry bed, with small pools in the deeper holes, 
and in these, among the few slimy water-plants and Conferva?, 
dwelt these gorgeous reptiles. In form and size they resemble a 
very large common English frog ; but their colour is more beau- 
tiful than words can describe. I never saw plant or gem of so 
bright tints. A vivid yellow-green seems the groundwork of 
the creature's array, and this is daintily pencilled over with other 
shades, emerald, olive, and blue greens, with a few delicate mark- 
ings of bright yellow, like an embroidery in threads of gold on 
shaded velvet. And the creatures sit looking at you from their 
moist, floating bowers, with their large eyes expressing the most 
perfect enjoyment, which, if you doubt whilst they sit still, you 
cannot refuse to believe in when you see them flop into the deli- 
cious cool water, and go slowly stretching their long green legs, 
as they pass along the waving grove of sedgy, feathery plants in 
the river's bed, and you lose them under a dense mass of gently 
waving leaves ; and to see this, whilst a burning, broiling sun is 
scorching up your very life, and the glare of the herbless earth 
dazzles your agonized eyes into blindness, is almost enough to 
make one willing to forego all the glories of humanity, and be 
changed into a frog ! 


In the same pools I found some fresh-water shells, chiefly be- 
longing to the species Unto, Lymncea, Stagnalis, and Physa, 
and, I think, identical with my English specimens. The mora- 
mies, or crayfish, live in holes in the muddy banks of these 
pools ; I saw many of their deserted shelly coats, but not any 
living ones. 

That most enigmatical of all the strange animals found in 
Australia, the Platypus, or Ornithorhynchus paradoxus, is also 
a dweller in the Macquarie, but, being extremely shy, is not 
often found near Bathurst. So many descriptions have been 
published of it, that I imagine it is nearly as well understood in 
England as here. A full-grown specimen is twelve or fourteen 
inches in length, and much the same shape and proportion as the 
common mole, with a very thick, soft fur, dark brown on the 
back, and light coloured beneath ; the head and eyes are per- 
fectly animal, but in lieu of a mouth or snout, a small flat bill, 
similar to that of a duck, completes the very odd countenance of 
this most paradoxical creature. The short furry legs end in half- 
webbed feet, the hind ones being armed with sharp spurs, which 
are perforated, and through which, when the animal is annoyed, 
it is believed to eject a poisonous fluid as it strikes an enemy ; but 
this fact is still doubted by some naturalists, and, like other ano- 
malous peculiarities, is still the subject of argument amongst the 
learned, to whose information I regret that it is not in my power 
to add. The creature is very rarely seen on shore, and is usually 
killed by being shot from a high bank ; but this is only practicable 
when it swims very near the surface. 

Among the few living things that frequented the dreary desert 
plains of Bathurst during my sojourn there, were some flocks of 
the spur-winged plover ; beautiful little birds, whose plaintive 
cry seemed unceasingly to bewail the dreariness of the spot. It 
seemed such a miserable place for birds — the gay creatures we 
love to watch fluttering, and coquetting, and sporting about in 
the green leafy trees — flying in and out — circling and soaring 
high into the air, then darting back into a thick shady covert, 
where only the light quivering of the leaves their quick wings 
fan into motion tells of their hiding-place ! Here were neither 
bush nor tree — nor branches dancing in the sunlight — nor 
deep clusters of rich dark leaves — nothing but a scorching sky 


and a desert earth, and the poor plover's sad, melancholy cry, 
instead of the full, varied choir of airy voices that fills the 
heart with gladness on a day in spring- in green, beautiful old 
England ! 

Here and there, amidst the scanty and withered herbage, 
where the flocks of miserable sheep were vainly trying to pick 
the fraction of a feed, gleamed up an eye of blue, a bright blue 
starry flower, looking fearlessly to the fervid sky from its slight 
and hair-like stem ; but its bolder aspect did not prevent my 
claiming a loving acquaintanc(yvith it as a relative of an ancient 
friend in my own dear land, the harebell. The Australian hare- 
bell ( Campanula gracilis) is scarcely a bell at all — rather a star 
— the corolla being very deeply cleft, and widely expanded ; but 
it is as beautiful : yes, with all my life-long love of the English 
one, I must acknowledge her antipodean cousin to be even as 
beautiful as the "poet's harebell," that so merrily dances and 
waves over British heaths and hills. 

In the same barren spots, too, I found a likeness of another old 
friend, the small meadow convolvulus, the new one being far 
brighter in hue than the sly, mischievous little sprite that frisks 
over our English fields, and baffles the sagacity of the neatest 
farmer when he strives to exclude it. The garb of my new 
friend is veritable couleur de rose, with scarcely a tint of yellow 
or a gleam of white. The plants were very small and quite com- 
pact ; the flower growing on a short footstalk, which sprung direct 
from the root, without any climbing stem. This excessive 
dwarfishness was probably the consequence of the withering 
droughts, as in Van Diemen's Land I often gather the same 
kind in streamers half a yard long, or more ; but they usually 
run along the ground, instead of twining up a bent of grass or 
any other support. 

During our few drives and rambles among the nearest hills, 
to the north-west of Bathurst, I found some pretty everlastings, 
Gnaphalium apiculatum, and others, with the names of which I 
am unacquainted. Some of the white ones were large, and grew 
in handsome clusters, with the soft central florets yellow ; look- 
ing, at a distance, not unlike the English ox-eye daisy. Others 
were entirely yellow, and larger than the white ones, growing 
singly on the stalk, and very handsome, showy flowers, but 

110 PEPPERMINT-TREE. [chap. xi. 

from their wide open, staring look, always reminded me of those 
full-blown representations of the sun, so much patronized by 
country sign-painters. The dry, harsh, juiceless everlastings 
seemed exactly the kind of growth we might expect to meet in 
such an arid, parched region as this. They seem as if they could 
be quite independent of droughts, hot winds, and every other 
destructive agent of this withering climate, and thrive just as 
well, or better, on a whirl of dust, than in a shower of rain. I 
began almost to dislike them for daring to blossom and flaunt in 
such bright array, when so many^ fairer and sweeter things were 
drooping and dying all around. Some of the hills we climbed 
(having driven across the weary plains to their feet) had really 
very pretty spots among their little glens and slopes, being well 
clothed with trees living and growing ; and as green as trees in 
New South Wales usually are, chiefly consisting of the common 
acacias, and various kinds of gum, or Eucalyptus, all very much 
resembling each other, except two species, one of which, the 
" blue gum," bears large, broad, rather blunt leaves, with a pale 
blue bloom upon them, which makes a pleasing contrast to the 
dark olive-green tint of the commoner kinds. The peppermint- 
tree (Eucalyptus piperita) is also a very distinct species, and 
usually a handsome tree ; I have seen some old ones that an 
artist would delight to sketch. The bark is often very various 
in colour, the smooth white portions being overlaid in places 
with a thin coat partially peeled off, tinted with light and dark 
grey, red, fawn-colour, and brown of many shades, whilst to- 
wards the ground the rough, thicker, more orthodox kind of 
bark generally remains. The foliage is denser and casts more 
shade than any other gum-tree ; the leaves are small and very 
narrow, both sides alike (as are those of the whole family), and 
thickly, yet lightly grouped on the spray ; their colour also is 
much brighter and greener than the other kinds, and when in 
flower, the tree is often a dense mass of blossoms, sweet, luscious- 
smelling, white-fringed little stars, with myriads of birds flutter- 
ing and chirping about them, sucking the honey, and showering 
down bunches that they pull off in sport and mischief. The 
scent of the leaves when rubbed, and also their taste, which is 
very pungent, is exactly similar to that of our English herb pepper- 
mint, and I should think an essence might be distilled from them, 

chap, xi.] OPOSSUMS. Ill 

to serve for the use of both the druggist and confectioner. The 
leaves are comm only supposed to form the chief food of the opos- 
sum both in New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land. These 
beautiful animals live in hollow trees, and are rarely visible by 
day, unless, as I have sometimes done, you can see one sitting 
at his front door (as I suppose we may term the entrance to his 
habitation), usually a hole far up the tree, whence they descend 
at night to feed on grass and herbs, and may be seen scampering 
and playing about like squirrels among the branches. The marks 
left by their sharp claws in climbing trees are constantly seen, 
and on the trunks of large old gums tracks of scratches are 
visible in such numbers as to prove them very favourite places 
of resort. A full-grown opossum is larger and heavier than a 
very large cat, with a pretty innocent-looking face, the expression 
of which is both like that of the deer and the mouse, the shape of 
the nose and whiskers strongly resembling the latter. The eyes 
are very dark and brilliant, the ears soft and delicate, the legs 
short and strong, with monkey-like feet and long sharp claws. 
They sit up, holding their food in the fore-paws, like a monkey. 
The tail is eighteen or twenty inches long, about the thickness at 
the base of a sable boa, and tapering to the end ; the under side is 
quite smooth and devoid of hair, the upper being covered with the 
same thick woolly fur as the other parts of the body, the colour 
being either black, dark grey, dark brown, or deep golden brown, 
like very yellow sable, but always beautifully shaded off from the 
sides towards the under part, which is lighter. These different 
colours are most probably also distinctions of species, as no 
blending or mixture of them is ever observed, which would very 
likely be the case if they were merely accidental varieties in the 
same animal, just as we see the common colours of the domestic 
cat mixed indiscriminately. The tail is strongly prehensile, and 
holds so tightly, that they often swing their whole weight upon it, 
and when shot dead, sometimes hang for a minute by it, before 
falling. Fine moonlight nights often prove fatal to the poor 
creatures, being the time chosen for shooting them by scores, 
either for the sake of their warm skins for rugs, or to feed dogs 
with their luckless bodies. Sometimes they commit sad ravages 
among the young corn, and then the war waged against them 
has certainly a fraction more of justice in it ; but too often they 

112 NATIVE METHOD OF [chap. xi. 

are, like my poor favourites the Cape pigeons, shot in mere 
wanton cruelty, which, to gild its villany, assumes the name of 
" sport." All dogs pursue them to the death, and often in the 
day-time find one who has either been too idle or unsuspecting to 
run up his tree, who, unless he can instantly climb one, falls a 
victim to his imprudence, though not without a most vigorous 
resistance of sharp bites and scratches, and many a shrill and 
piercing squeal of agony : as is the general course in this world, 
either among men or brutes, might is victorious over right, and 
poor "possey" rarely escapes. The noise they usually make at night, 
when undisturbed, is something like a very hoarse laugh, a kind 
of grating throat-chuckle ; and on a still night many of them 
may be heard calling to and answering each other for a consi- 
derable distance. 

Like all other animals of their class, they are marsupial, and 
have rarely more than one young one at a time, which the doe 
carries about with her, at first in the pouch, and afterwards on 
her back. 

The blacks procure opossums by climbing trees where their 
holes are, and have evidently some means of ascertaining whe- 
ther the animal is turned with its head or tail towards them, 
before touching it ; if the former, they frighten him, or by some 
means induce him to turn round, when, instantly seizing the tail, 
they forcibly drag him out. If the hole extends too far for them 
to reach their prey, they cut a larger hole with an axe or toma- 
hawk.* They often show great brutality in torturing the unfor- 
tunate animals they take, long before putting an end to their 
wretched sufferings. Mr. Meredith on one occasion remonstrated 
with a black who was cruelly and inhumanly maiming one of 
these poor harmless creatures, but the only reply the savage 
made was by a broad grin, and the cool remark, " Bel 'possum 
cry ! " — (Opossum don't cry !) The natives, like most savages, 
are very agile in climbing trees, making small notches in the 

* Formerly these implements were made of flint or crystal, but now the 
natives procure English ones. 

My omitting all allusion to the kangaroo may be deemed an oversight, but 
the reason I do not describe them here, is, that I did not see one in New 
South Wales, nor has Mr. Meredith, in all his wanderings there, met with 
more than half a dozen. So effectually is the race being exterminated. In 
Van Diemen's Land they are much more abundant. . 

chap, xi.] CATCHING OPOSSUMS. 113 

bark as they ascend, just large enough to rest the end of the 
great toe upon, which member seems in them particularly strong, 
for even in riding on horseback, which many of them do, well 
and fearlessly, they never put the flat foot in the stirrup, but only 
lay hold of it with the great toe. 

114 INCUBATION OF TURKEYS. [chap, xn. 


Native Turkeys ; their mode of incubation — Native Cranberry — Our Return — 
Locusts — Manna — Transformations — Ground-grubs — Night at the Rivulet 
— New Flowers — Heat and Dust — " Weatherboard" Inn — Walk to the Cas- 
cade — Fringed Violet — Waratahs — Fine View — Lories. 

Emus and native turkeys are not now seen near Bathurst, al- 
though still very numerous in the less populous districts. The 
bush-turkey is about the same size as a tame one ; the colour 
dark brown, with light grey feathers on the breast, and full 
plumage on the head and neck. They are very shy, and, 
being excellent eating, are much sought after by both Euro- 
peans and natives. On foot it is all but impossible to ap- 
proach within gunshot of them, as they take wing on the least 
alarm ; but they will allow persons on horseback, or in a vehicle 
of any kind, to come close to them, and by such means they are 
usually taken. 

A most extraordinary account is given by Mr. Gould and 
other naturalists of the manner in which these birds provide for 
the artificial hatching of their young, by scratching together a 
great heap of vegetable matter, in which the females lay their 
eggs, and leave them, trusting to the heat which the mass ac- 
quires during fermentation, to bring out the brood. This, if true 
of any Australian bird, is certainly a mistake as regards the 
turkey, which frequents the wide, open plains of the interior, 
and forms scarcely any nest, but in some accidental hollow lays 
several bluish-spotted eggs, which afterwards become much 
darker in colour, and are hatched in the usual manner. "Were 
the birds to form so large and conspicuous a receptacle for their 
eggs as I have seen described, namely, a mound of rubbish thirty 
feet round, and eight or ten high, none would escape discovery, 
and as both eggs and birds are valued as food, the race would ere 
this be totally extinct. I never had an opportunity of seeing the 


nest of a bush-turkey, and therefore my account is but the tran- 
script of what I have been told ; but of my informant's veracity 
and knowledge I cannot entertain a doubt. 

One staple article of consumption, both with emus and 
turkeys, is the berry of the low-creeping prickly plant called the 
native cranberry (Astroloma humifusum), which is so very hard 
that I should think their digestive organs must be akin to those 
of the ostrich. This semblance of a fruit is about the size of 
a currant, and with its peach-like bloom looks rather tempt- 
ing, but a marble covered with thin kid would >best represent 
its flavour and consistence. I remember the shock of disap- 
pointment I received on attempting to taste some on a hot thirsty 
day, and have never since deprived the emus of a single berry. 
The blossom is very pretty, not unlike a small fuchsia, growing 
abundantly on the under-side of the trailing sprays, and not 
often noticeable until a piece is gathered, so closely they lie on 
the ground. 

After a sojourn at Bathurst of about a month, we set forth on 
our return to Sydney, and the summer being more advanced, 
and the heat much greater, the weariness and discomfort of the 
journey were increased tenfold. The mountains were just as 
dreary as when we crossed them in coming ; the roads not quite 
so bad, the great holes and reservoirs of mud in them being a 
little dried up, and the really dry portions rising in continuous 
volumes of dust. 

Equally annoying with the dust was the loud, incessant, and 
indescribable noise of myriads of large and curious winged insects, 
commonly and incorrectly called locusts, but which are totally 
different from any kind of locusts I ever saw either represented 
in books or in collections. They literally swarm in the summer 
time on the gum-trees, and are seen flying about in immense 
numbers ; the noise they make when on the wing being a loud 
hum or buzz, not nearly so disagreeable as their note when settled 
on a tree, which most closely resembles the sound of a miniature 
watchman's rattle ; and when this is multiplied by thousands and 
millions of these noisy creatures, the din is intolerable. A 
stocking or lace manufactory is not more distressing to a person 
unaccustomed to the rattling and riot of the machinery. Whilst 
we rested one day, a couple of the locusts were caught, and I no 

i 2 

116 LOCUSTS— MANNA. [chap. xn. 

longer wondered so much at their loud notes, for they are power- 
ful-looking creatures, something the form of an enormous liy, 
with stout brown bodies two inches long 1 , six rough legs, a 
squarely shaped head like a grasshopper's, half an inch or more 
in breadth, with large prominent black eyes, and a long pro- 
boscis, which when at rest lies very compactly under the chin. 
(I must pray entomologists to forgive my unscientific descrip- 
tions, as I am unacquainted with their technical phraseology.) 
On the front of the head are some jewel-like markings of yellow 
and red ; the wings are very large, and as transparent as glass, 
traversed by some very strong and many finer fibres in a beau- 
tiful net-work. Altogether they are very handsome and most 
harmless-looking insects, and I liberated those caught for me, as 
soon as I had well examined them. 

Since leaving New South Wales, I have become rather better 
acquainted with the locusts, as a species but slightly different 
inhabits Van Diemen's Land. These are somewhat smaller, 
with coral-red eyes, instead of black ones, and of a blacker 
colour generally. They frequent certain kinds of Eucalyptus in 
countless numbers, but only in particular localities ; we some- 
times drive several miles without hearing one, and then suddenly 
find ourselves in the midst of a whole swarm. 

In both Colonies a kind of manna is found upon and lying be- 
neath the trees chosen by the locusts, in snow-white flakes, some- 
times soft, and often nearly as hard as a sugar-plum, with a sweet 
and rather pleasant flavour ; its medicinal properties being the 
same as those of the manna sold by druggists. Children are very 
fond of it, but I have never seen it in any quantity. 

I have heard very many discussions as to the origin of this 
manna and its connexion with the locusts, some persons believing 
that the insects made it, as bees make honey, others that it was 
a natural exudation from the tree, which attracted the locusts 
to feed on it. But since I have had opportunities of observing 
the matter more attentively, I haye been convinced that neither 
of these is the true solution of the mystery, but that the following 
explanation, given me by our worthy medical attendant here 
(Van Diemen's Land), Dr. Storey, is the true one. 

Beneath the outer bark of some gum-trees is a sweet kind of 
mucilage, free from the very strong aromatic flavour which per- 


vacles the rest of the tree ; and the locusts, perforating- the outer 
bark with their long-, sharp proboscis, suck out the juice, which 
continues to flow for a short time after they leave the aperture, 
and drying in the sun, falls to the ground in flakes of manna. 

I have had many corroborative proofs of this fact, and, before 
knowing it, had often vainly endeavoured to conjecture what 
the locusts could be doing, when I saw them covering the 
smooth stem of a tree for many yards, and the greater portion of 
them motionless. 

They evidently pass through one, if not more stages of exist- 
ence, preparatory to their becoming perfect winged insects. In 
the summer, towards evening, it is common to see on the trunks of 
trees, reeds, or any upright thing, a heavy-looking, hump-backed, 
brown beetle, an inch and a half long, with a scaly coat ; clawed, 
lobster-like legs, and a somewhat dirty aspect, which is easily 
accounted for, when at the foot of the tree a little hole is visible 
in the turf, whence he has lately crept. I have sometimes care- 
fully carried these home, and watched with great interest the poor 
locust " shuffle off his mortal," or rather earthy coil, and emerge 
into a new world. The first symptom is the opening of a small 
slit which appears in the back of his coat, between the shoulders, 
through which, as it slowly gapes wider, a pale, soft, silky-look- 
ing texture is seen below, throbbing and heaving backwards and 
forwards. Presently, a fine square head, with two light red eyes, 
has disengaged itself, and in process of time (for the transforma- 
tion goes on almost imperceptibly) this is followed by the libera- 
tion of a portly body and a conclusion ; after which the brown 
leggings are pulled off like boots, and a pale, cream-coloured, 
weak, soft creature very slowly and very tenderly walks away 
from his former self, which remains standing entire, like the coat 
of mail of a warrior of old, ready to be encased in the cabinets 
of the curious ; the shelly plates of the eyes that are gone, look- 
ing after their lost contents with a sad lack of " speculation " in 
them. On the back of the new-born creature lie two small bits 
of membrane doubled and crumpled up in a thousand puckers, 
like a Limerick glove in a walnut-shell. These begin to unfold 
themselves, and gradually spread smoothly out into two large, 
beautiful, opal-coloured wings, which by the following morning 
have become clearly transparent, whilst the body has acquired 

118 GROUND GRUBS. . [chap. xii. 

its proper hard consistency and dark colour ; and when placed on 
a gum-tree, the happy thing soon begins its whirring, creaking, 
chirruping song, which continues, with little intermission, as 
long as its happy harmless life. 

When the locusts happen to come out in the morning, the 
heat of the sun often dries their unopened wings ,so suddenly 
that they cannot expand, and thus, quite helpless, the poor things 
become a prey to the numerous birds and swarms of ants that 
are always ready to attack and devour them. 

What state the locust passes through previously to its exist- 
ence as an underground beetle, I am not aware ; but in newly- 
ploughed peat land* great numbers of fat, white, inactive cater- 
pillars or grubs are constantly found, some of which, judging 
from their size and shape, are probably locusts in their first state 
of being. I find these grubs some inches below the surface, 
coiled round in little cells exactly their own shape and size, hol- 
lowed in the moist ground, whence they apparently derive their 
sustenance. When disturbed, they slowly crawl under another 
piece of earth, where they soon form a new cell, similar to the 
old one. 

Another locust, resembling the one I have described, in every 
respect except size, is perhaps the male insect, the body being 
much slighter in proportion, and not exceeding an inch in length. 
The circumstance of these two sizes in the locusts exactly cor- 
responding with those of two kinds of the ground-grubs, induces 
me to think that the latter are locusts in their first or lowest 
form ; but 1 my opinions, being formed solely from observation, 
without that aid which a previous knowledge of entomology 
would afford me, may very probably be erroneous. The cruelties 
which all persons learned in that science are perpetually guilty 
of, and, as it seems, irresistibly tempted to commit, always 
rendered it abhorrent to me, and consequently I am now nearly 
if not wholly useless as an observer of my interesting neighbours 
of the insect kingdom in this populous region ; but lest my 
modest fear of telling what is already known should by any pos- 
sibility nip some wondrous discovery in the bud, I simply detail 
my small sums of knowledge, only regretting that the total 
amount is not greater. 

* In Van Diemen's Land. 

chap, xii.] NIGHT AT THE RIVULET. 119 

As we journeyed on, we found it convenient to rest one night 
at the Rivulet Inn (the scene of such bacchanalian orgies during 
our up-journey). The inmates were certainly not so tipsy, and 
more of them were visible than before ; but as to cleanliness, the 
word and the meaning seemed equally unknown within, though 
the paint outside was as bright as ever, reminding one so much 
of a newly-furbished-up caravan at a country fair, that I almost 
expected to see a picture of a giant and dwarf in the veranda, 
or to hear a great drum. On our retiring for the night (in com- 
pany with a dark-brown fat candle that smelt most insufferably 
ill, as it fizzled and flared by turns) to a freshly painted room with 
very scanty furniture, and a most sombre coloured, hide-the-dirt 
kind of bed, I instituted an examination into the state of the 
linen, and believe that half a dozen unwashed chimney-sweeps 
occupying the same bed for a fortnight could not have left evi- 
dences of a darker hue than presented themselves to my horror- 
stricken eyes. The blankets corresponded well in colour, but 
as to exchange those was totally hopeless, we dispensed with their 
services, and after great difficulty, and most eloquent grum- 
bling from the rum-inspired landlady, I obtained some coarse 
cotton sheets (linen ones being rarely seen in the Colony), the 
dampness of which was satisfactory, as it proved they had been 
acquainted with the wash-tub. 

Thrusting the other sable and not inodorous coverings into 
the farthest corner of the room, I washed my hands, and re- 
arranged the bed, and had begun to think of sleep, when a loud 
knocking at the door aroused us — 

"Who's there?" 

" If you please, ma'am, Missus wants them sheets you pulled 
off your bed, for a gentleman as is just come in ! " 

With my parasol I poked the things out on the landing, inly 
congratulating the happy man destined to enjoy such sweet re- 
pose ; but I could not help thinking, at the same time, how many 
pairs of sheets might have been bought with the money the 
household were drinking at our previous visit ; or even that a 
white-washed house with clean linen would have been pre- 
ferable to gilding and rainbow paintings without that humble 

The beauty of the vale of Clwydd had become much enhanced 


during the interval of our visits by the blossoming of the young 
gum-trees, and the greater degree of verdure generally percep- 
tible. I gathered many flowers by the road-side that were quite 
new to me, including several orchideous plants, and a bright rich 
blue flower, with gold and black stamens, growing on a straggling 
branched stem from out a large tuft of tall reedy leaves. I named 
it then the " Knight of the Garter/' and have often met it since 
in both Colonies. 

Mount Victoria, too, towered above far greener glens and ra- 
vines than when we had crossed the pass before ; but once again 
amidst the forests of those dreary, black Blue Mountains, and 
all improvement was at an end. Burned trees, bare ground, and 
interminable hills once more surrounded us ; the scorching heat 
of the sun was to me almost overpowering, and, reflected as it 
was by the dusty, shadeless road into our faces and eyes, became 
absolutely painful. Still the time and the journey wore on, and 
we reached the Weatherboard inn, then wholly at our service, 
and where an ever memorable luxury awaited us, in the shape of 
a capacious dish of young potatoes at tea, being the first vege- 
tables we had seen for some time. Here we also found a clean 
bed, though the possession thereof seemed a point of dispute with 
its numerous tenantry ; but this is an almost universal evil in 
New South "Wales, and in wooden houses like the one in 
question is, I believe, incurable. A tolerably neat and pro- 
ductive garden adjoined the house, and everything about bore 
an air of more comfort than the generality of such places in the 

After an early breakfast the following morning, we set forth 
on foot to visit a waterfall. Entering a little valley with low 
hills on either side, we soon reached the borders of a bright 
brook, that, as it gurgled and glittered over its rocky bed, spoke 
to me of many a lovely valley and verdant meadow at home, 
where, instead of being, as here, precious as a fount in the desert, 
such a stream would be but one among the thousands that 
gladden the teeming earth. After our dry and parching journey, 
it was delightful to walk close beside it — to be quite sure that it 
was water— and when wetted feet did not suffice, to stoop and 
dabble in it — and scoop it up in tightly-clasped hands to drink — 
and to step over on its large dry stones, with no very great 

chap, xii.] WALK TO THE CASCADE. 121 

objection to a splash if one's foot slipped. All the valley was 
green too, — think of that ! And how exquisitely refreshing 
such moist greenness was to our dust-blinded eyes ! Tall rushes 
grew there, and half-immersed water-plants, from amidst which 
we heard the sonorous " clop, clop " of the great green frogs ; 
and bright dragon-flies darted about among the high waving 
reeds ; and there were gay flowering shrubs with pleasant odours, 
and the delicate " fringed violet, a gem worthy to grace Tita- 
nia's rarest crown. It is an humble lowly flower, about the 
size of a violet, growing alone on a thin transparent stem some 
two or three inches high, of a deep bluish lilac rather than 
purple, and somewhat the shape of the iris, having also the 
same peculiar lustre, so well described by my poet-friend Mary 
Howitt — 

" As if grains of gold in its petals were set." 

The sepals of the flower are edged with the finest fringe, like 
that which adorns our English bog-bean. It fades so very soon 
after being gathered, that I could not even carry one alive to 
the inn, and never meeting with it again, had no opportunity of 
sketching it. 

As we walked on, a group of slender young gum-trees at- 
tracted my attention by their very graceful forms and polished 
verdure ; and when opposite to them, we saw, as through a pur- 
posed entrance, that they formed a nearly circular bower, be- 
neath whose leavy canopy dwelt a sisterhood of queens — a group 
of eight or ten splendid waratahs, straight as arrows — tall, 
stately, regal flowers, that with their rich and glowing hue, 

" Making a sunshine in the shady place," 

seemed like the magic jewels we read of in fairy-tales, that light 
up caverns by their own intrinsic lustre. 

It would have seemed a small sort of sacrilege to disturb this 
beautiful picture, this temple of the mountain nymphs ; so I con- 
tented myself with gathering some less fine flowers of the 
waratah that grew near, and we pursued our way still along the 
green little valley, and close beside the streamlet, which, as we 
advanced, flowed much more swiftly, and a sound of pouring 
water reached us, the cause of which was soon explained by one 

122 FINE VIEW. [chap. xii. 

of the most stupendous scenes I ever beheld, bursting unex- 
pectedly upon us. 

Suddenly we found ourselves standing on the brink of a tre- 
mendous precipice ; for though I have spoken of traversing a 
valley, be it remembered that this was on one of the highest parts 
of the Blue Mountains, and the valley itself merely a water- 
course. I know not how to describe the scene without a com- 
paratively insignificant simile, namely, a theatre, but supposing a 
space of three or four miles between the centre of the audience- 
portion and the back of the stage, with a proportionate width. 
We stood, as it were, in the front of the gallery, which was the 
summit of a colossal amphitheatre of precipitous and most pic- 
turesque cliffs, rising in many places above the point where we 
stood, and in others broken by rugged ravines, fantastically 
adorned with trees, that seemed to hold on, like the natives, by a 
great toe only. At a depth of some hundreds of feet below us 
lay a thickly wooded undulating vale, a billowy ocean of verdant 
foliage, stretching far away, and rising again in the distance, 
until bounded by a towering wall of rocks, their sharp outlines 
telling in strongly marked light and shade against the clear, deep 
blue sky. 

On our left hand, the bright waters of the mountain stream 
poured over the rocks in one smooth, glassy, unbroken torrent 
for some distance, and then, scattered by projecting crags into 
smaller jets, were lost to view amidst the overhanging trees that 
fringed the sides of this natural Colosseum. 

That portion of the rock near us seemed certainly of an 
igneous origin, and some more distant parts had much the aspect 
of basalt, being apparently columnar. Some of the small frag- 
ments I picked up had a beautifully crystalline structure, and 
glittered like " ruby-blende." 

I much regretted the impossibility of remaining to have a day 
or two's exploration about this grand and interesting spot. I 
should have liked to visit the foot of the cliffs as well as the'brow, 
but this would have incurred a circuit of many miles, and too 
much fatigue for me to dream of; and with excessive reluctance 
I retraced my steps to the " Weatherboard," whence we imme- 
diately started on our onward journey. 

Near the inn we saw some lories, the most brilliant of all the 

chap, xii.] LORIES. 123 

parrot tribe ; the back and upper portion of the body being a 
bright gleaming blue, whilst the breast and under parts are the 
most intense rose-colour, or ponceau. Gay as were all the parrots 
I had previously seen, I gazed on these in sheer wonder, scarcely 
believing they could be real, as they rose in a flock from the 
road before us and flew past, brightening the very sunshine with 
their glorious colours. 

124 VIEW FROM LAPSTONE HILL, [chap. xiii. 


Storm and fine View on Lapstone Hill — Farm-house in the " Public" line — 
Arrive at Parramatta — Steamboat — Scenery on the " River" — Sydney — 
Christmas-tree— Christmas-day — Tippling Servants. 

In the afternoon we encountered a storm of lightning, thunder, 
and rain, just before reaching Lapstone Hill, and whilst we 
wound down it we enjoyed as perfect a picture of a landscape 
as ever eye beheld. How I wished, and wished in vain, for some 
rare artist to see it with us ! — and fancied the versions of its 
beauty that Constable, Creswick, Copley Fielding, Cox, or 
Turner might give to an admiring world. I have before en- 
deavoured to describe Lapstone Hill (Chapter VII.) : but if 
beautiful then, how much more so was it now, — with tall and 
graceful gum-trees loaded with their white and honied blossoms, 
lifting up their garlanded heads from the deep ravine, — amidst 
groups of the delicate, feathery-leaved acacia, whose countless 
clusters of pale-golden, hawthorn-scented flowers were bending 
with the heavy rain-drops, that glittered and sparkled like dia- 
monds on the shrubs, trees, and deep-crimson waratahs on the 
rocks above us ! Before us lay the green Emu Plains, the broad 
Nepean, and town of Penrith ; the view being bounded on either 
side by the rocky gorge through which we looked. One half of the 
sky was black as night, with the yet unspent wrath of the thun- 
der-clouds, whose artillery still reverberated grandly amongst the 
mountains ; the other half of the Janus-faced heaven was blue, 
and bright with sunshine : and over both, like a beautiful spirit 
of concord, blessing alike the darkness and the light, beamed a 
most brilliant rainbow. The whole scene was so indelibly 
painted on my mind, I can fancy now that I see each individual 
rock and tree that helped to make up the beautiful whole. 

Crossing the Nepean as before, in the punt, we took up our 
quarters again at the Ferry Inn, and early the next day continued 
our journey. Seeing a tolerably large house by the roadside, 

chap, xin.] PARRAMATTA STEAMBOAT. 125 

with stacks, cows, pigs, and other farm-like things about, and a 
tall sign-post, or what appeared such, in front, we alighted, to 
see if we could procure a glass of milk, and entered a room, evi- 
dently in the " public" line of business, smelling dreadfully of 
rum and tobacco, and garnished with pipe-ashes, dirty glasses, 
and empty bottles in abundance. A continuance of loud knock- 
ing brought a stupid, dirty, half-dressed, slipshod woman from 
an inner room, in which, as she left the door open, I could see 
several messy, unmade beds, soiled clothes all about the floor, 
and three or four more women of different ages, and of as un- 
pleasing aspect as the one who had obeyed my summons, and 
who, after some delay, brought me a jug of nice sweet milk, and 
a dirty glass to pour it into ; seeming to me as if she had ably 
assisted in the bottle-emptying of the preceding evening. This 
universal addiction to drink, and the consequent neglect of all 
industry and decency, are truly shocking. Here was a substantial 
farm-house (sometimes performing in another character, it is 
true), with the female inmates half- drunk and scarcely out of 
bed at ten o'clock on a summer's morning, rooms unswept, beds 
unmade, and the whole establishment telling of plenty, sloth, and 

We reached Parramatta about noon, and remained, in luxu- 
rious idleness, at the pretty inn I had so much liked on our pre- 
vious visit, for a day or two, until lodgings were prepared for us in 
Sydney. We then embarked in a steamboat named the Rapid 
or the Velocity, or some like promising title, on the Parramatta 
river {alias Port Jackson), and moved away from the wharf 
at a most funereal pace, which I for some time accounted for by 
supposing that other passengers were expected alongside, but at 
length found, to my dismay, that it was the best speed with 
which this renowned vessel could travel without fear of an ex- 
plosion. One advantage it gave us was a good and deliberate 
view of the scenery on either side ; a moderately quick draughts- 
man might have drawn a panorama of it as we slowly puffed 

Some of the cottages and villas on the banks are very prettily 
situated, with fine plantations, gardens, and orange-groves around 
them, and nice pleasure-boats moored beside mossy stone steps 
leading to the river. As we neared Sydney the banks became 

126 SYDNEY. [chap. xiii. 

much more rocky and picturesque, skirted and crowned with 
pretty native shrubs, with here and there a fantastic group of 
crags, like a little fort or castle, perched among them. 

The animation of the scene in the harbour, the numerous ves- 
sels at anchor, and the busy little boats plying in every direction, 
gave by no means unpleasing evidence of our return to the Aus- 
tralian metropolis. Viewed from any point, Sydney cannot fail 
to strike a thinking mind with wonder and admiration, as being 
the creation of so comparatively brief a space. A large and 
well-built town, abounding with all the expensive luxuries of 
civilized life — streams of gay equipages and equestrians traversing 
the wide and handsome streets — throngs of busy merchants, 
whose costly and innumerable goods are being landed from whole 
fleets of noble ships that bring hither treasures from all climes — 
all this, and more — where, but a few years ago, the lonely native 
caught and eat his opossum, or paddled his tiny canoe across the 
almost matchless harbour ! 

Not without strong misgivings as to the equity of such appro- 
priations generally, do I make these remarks ; but, in the cruel 
annals of colonization, I believe that of New South Wales to be 
the least objectionable. For the most part it has been peacefully 
effected, and the great disproportion of the scanty aboriginal 
population to the vast extent of habitable country still 
leaves a superfluous abundance to the natives, of both land and 
sustenance. Unlike the nobler and far more abused natives of 
New Zealand, they attach themselves to no particular spot, but 
within a certain wide boundary, which separates them from other 
aboriginal tribes, they wander about, without attachment or in- 
terest in one portion of country more than another, so that they 
can find abundance of food, the vicinity of Europeans' residences 
being sought and preferred for that reason. 

We now made a few weeks' sojourn in Sydney, which, could 
we have laid the dust, moderated the heat, and dismissed the 
mosquitoes and their assistants, would have been very pleasant ; 
but as it was, my colonial enjoyments were limited to our usual 
drives, and when able to walk at all, an idle, languid stroll in 
the beautiful Government gardens. For some days before Christ- 
mas, in our drives near the town, we used to meet numbers of 
persons carrying bundles of a beautiful native shrub, to decorate 

chap, xiii.] SYDNEY CHRISTMAS-TREE. 127 

the houses, in the same manner that we use holly and evergreens 
at home. Men, women, and children, white, brown, and 
black, were in the trade ; and sometimes a horse approached, so 
covered with the bowery load he bore, that only his legs were 
visible, and led by a man nearly as much hidden ; carts heaped 
up with the green and blossomed boughs came noddingly along, 
with children running beside them, decked out with sprays and 
garlands, laughing and shouting in proper Christmas jollity. 
I liked to see this attempt at the perpetuation of some of our 
ancient homely poetry of life, in this new and generally too pro- 
saic Colony, where the cabalistic letters £. s. d. and RUM 
appear too frequently the alphabet of existence. It seemed like 
a good healthy memory of home ; and I doubt not the decked-out 
windows and bouquet-filled chimney in many a tradesman's house 
gave a more home-like flavour to his beef or turkey, and aided 
in the remembrance of old days and old friends alike numbered 
with the past. 

The shrub chosen as the Sydney " Christmas " is well worthy 
of the honour (the rough usage it receives rendering the quality 
of the post it occupies rather problematical, by the way). It is 
a handsome verdant shrub, growing from two to twelve or fifteen 
feet high, with leaves in shape like those of the horse-chestnut, 
but only two or three inches broad, with a dark green, polished, 
upper surface, the under one being pale. The flowers, which are 
irregularly star-shaped, come out in light terminal sprays, their 
chief peculiarity being, that they completely open whilst quite 
small, and of a greenish white colour ; they then continue increas- 
ing in size, and gradually ripening in tint, becoming first a pearl 
white, then palest blush, then pink, rose-colour, and crimson : the 
constant change taking place in them, and the presence of all 
these hues at one time on a spray of half a dozen flowers, has a 
singularly pretty appearance. Their scent when freshly gathered 
is like that of new-mown hay. Great quantities of the shrubs 
grow in the neighbourhood of Sydney, or I should fear that 
such wholesale demolition as I witnessed would soon render 
them rare. 

The " Christmas dinner" truly seemed to me a most odd and 
anomalous affair. Instead of having won a seasonable appetite 
by a brisk walk over the crisped snow, well muffled in warm 

128 HEAT— TIPPLING SERVANTS. [chap. xiii. 

winter garments, I had passed the miserable morning, half-dead 
with heat, on the sofa, attired in the coolest muslin dress *I pos- 
sessed, sipping lemonade or soda-water, and endeavouring to 
remember all the enviable times when I had touched a lump of 
ice or grasped a snowball, and vainly watching the still, unruf- 
fled curtains of the open window for the first symptom of the 
afternoon sea-breeze. 

I have heard persons who have lived for years in India say 
that they found the climate of Sydney by far the most oppressive ; 
and I partly account for this by the better adaptation of Indian 
habitations to the heat, and their various contrivances for relief, 
which English people, choosing to build English houses in an 
un-English climate, never dream of providing. The only cool 
arrangement generally adopted is the substitution of an oiled 
cloth or matting for a carpet on sitting-room floors ; some of the 
mattings are fine and rather pretty-looking, but the oiled cloth 
has always a kind of hair-dresser's-shop look about it, which not 
the most elegant furniture of every other description could re- 
concile to my old-world prejudices; and the noise which the 
softest step makes upon it is always unpleasant. 

The prevailing vice of drunkenness among the lower orders is 
perhaps more resolutely practised at this season than any other. 
I have heard of a Christmas-day party being assembled, and 
awaiting the announcement of dinner as long as patience would 
endure ; then ringing the bell, but without reply ; and on the 
hostess proceeding to the kitchen, finding every servant either 
gone out or rendered incapable of moving, the intended feast 
being meanwhile burned to ashes. Nor is this by any means a 
rare occurrence ; as the crowded police-office can bear ample 

chap. xiv. HOMEBUSH. 129 


Homebush — Colonial Country houses — The "Avenue" — Gates— Slip-rails 
— Bush-rangers — Mounted Police— Dingoes — Flying Fox— Flying Opos- 
sum—Native Cats — Birds — Robins— Swallows — Knife-grinder— Coach- 
man — Bell-bird — Laughing Jackass — Larks— Game. 

In January, 1840, we removed to "Homebush," an estate 
within eleven miles of Sydney, on the Parramatta river, where 
we proposed residing for a year or two ; and rendered the ill-ar- 
ranged and dilapidated old house a tolerably comfortable home. 
It contained two good rooms and five smaller ones ; the veranda 
in front was one hundred feet long, by twelve in width, and was 
carried round the ends of the house in the same proportion, the 
whole neatly flagged ; at the back, the line was broken by the two 
wings, leaving a shorter veranda in the centre, with the garden 
(or rather wilderness) before it, commanding a beautiful view of 
the river (a creek of which ran up towards the house), the oppo- 
site shores, and several wooded jutting points on our own side.* 

Homebush was a fair specimen of a New South Wales settler's 
residence, possessing many of the Colonial peculiarities. The 
house stood on the highest ground in the estate, and for some 
hundreds of acres all around not a native tree nor even a stump 
was visible, so completely had the land been cleared, although 
not worth cultivation. This desert bareness was a little relieved 
close to the house, by three magnificent Norfolk Island pines, which 
towered far above the roof ; and by the then broken and ruined 
fruit-trees of what had been two very large orchards, which were 

* On one of these was a school for young ladies, and any one addressing 
the principal by letter would be somewhat amused at the very alarmingly 
soft nature of the superscription, which would run thus : 
"Mrs. Love, 

Harmony House, 


Near Kissing Point ! " 


formerly well stocked with mulberry, plum, cherry, pear, apple, 
peach, orange, and loquat trees, but at the time of our taking 
the place, after its being vacant some years (or only occupied by 
a drunken overseer), the cattle had free ingress through the bro- 
ken fences, and the fine orchards were utterly destroyed. 

A curving road, nearly half a mile long, and some twenty 
yards wide, with a good four-rail fence on either side, led from 
the entrance gate, on the public road, to the house, and this, be- 
ing unadorned by a single tree, was, according to a Colonial stretch 
of courtesy, termed the "Avenue ; " much to my mystification, 
when, on inquiring for Mr. Meredith one day, a servant told 
me, " Master had just gone down the ' aveny.' " I pondered this 
announcement some moments, and not being able to recollect 
any thing of the kind near the place (for I confess my thoughts 
were wandering in search of some gum-tree likeness of the 
stately aisles of elms and limes that I loved so well at home), 
I was compelled to inquire where this " terra incognita" lay ; 
and having once discovered that we had an " avenue," I never 
failed to remember its style and title. 

Proceeding, then, along the avenue towards the house, a 
stranger might be apt to fancy he had entered at a wrong gate, 
for he would find himself led into the midst of all the farm- 
buildings ; stock-yards, cow-sheds, barn, stable, and piggeries 
ranging on his left hand, whilst huts for the farm servants lay 
on his right ; and in front, commanding a full view of all these 
ornamental edifices, the hall door of the house ! Such being the 
almost universal arrangement in the Colony ; and, as compared 
with many other settlers' houses, this was rather aristocratic. 
Why the approach to a farm-house here should be so much more 
dirty, unpleasant, and intrusive than in England, I know not ; but 
certain it is that in visiting a colonist you are generally obliged 
to inspect every other portion of the establishment before you 
can reach the apartments of the family. 

Another universal inconvenience is, that you never see a gate, 
or so rarely as only to be the exception to the rule. " Slip- 
rails" are the substitute ; five or six heavy long poles loosely 
inserted in sockets made in two upright posts. They may be 
stepped over by a horse if only lowered at one end, but to allow 
any vehicle to enter, each one has to be lifted out and put aside ; 

chap, xiv.] BUSH-RANGERS. 131 

and it often happens that four or five of these troublesome and 
slovenly contrivances occur in the approach to one house, with the 
invariable additional charm (in winter) of a deep squashy pool of 
mud around each one ; yet, most probably, when you do gain your 
destination, if a dinner-party be the occasion, you find a table 
spread with abundance of plate, glass, damask, and costly viands, 
and a profusion of expensive wines. Such inconsistencies per- 
petually struck me, showing the general preference for glitter 
and show, rather than sterling English comfort. A settler will 
perhaps keep two or three carriages, and furnish his house in a 
costly style, yet grudge the labour of a carpenter to convert 
some of the useless wood around him into gates for his farm and 
grounds. Homebush did possess a gate, but, as was requisite, 
to be in proper Colonial " keeping," one half was off its hinges, 
and the companion-moiety never consented to open unless it was 
lifted ; therefore, on the whole, it was remarkably convenient. 

During nearly the whole time of our residence here the public 
road near us was infested by a gang of bush-rangers, or rather 
footpads, who committed many robberies on persons travelling 
past ; but although we and our servants constantly traversed the 
dreaded road, we were never molested. Possibly the shelter and 
concealment they very probably found in some of the dense 
scrubs and thickets which skirted part of our ground near the 
scene of their exploits, induced them to adopt the fox's policy, 
who rarely " robs near his own den ;" but the constant depreda- 
tions we heard of rendered our drives far less pleasant to me, 
although a double-barrelled gun usually accompanied us. One 
day we met the clergyman of Cook's River,* who, on his way to 
dine with the Governor at Parramatta, had been stopped by three 
of the party, who took his money and a very valuable watch. 
He had directly ridden to the nearest public-house, not a quarter 
of a mile off, and, with some of the inmates and an old musket, 
had diligently scoured the bush in pursuit, but without again 
seeing the gang, who within an hour robbed some persons in 
another road. They one day took from a poor woman even her 
wedding-ring, and for several months continued the same prac- 

* Cook's River is an arm of the sea, running inland from Botany Bay, 
and on its banks are many pleasant residences, and the prettiest church in the 

K 2 

132 MOUNTED POLICE— DINGOES. [chap. xiv. 

tices on this, the most frequented public road near Sydney, 
almost without an attempt being made for their capture ; for so 
constantly were they " at work," that had the police been 
desirous of taking them, they could not have failed. In the case 
of the more formidable gangs of bush-rangers, who by their out- 
rages often become the terror of a wide rural district, the 
" mounted police" is an excellent and efficient force. It con- 
sists of picked and well-paid volunteers from the regiments in the 
Colony, and the officers are generally brave and intelligent young 
men, who, when they look for a bush-ranger, generally find him ; 
two terms by no means synonymous among the constabulary. 

During our stay at Bathurst, a party of the mounted police 
went in search of a very daring gang of bush-rangers, or, as they 
are sometimes called, " bolters." After some search, the officer 
iu command, Lieut. Hilliard (of the 86th or 28th, I forget 
which), divided his force, taking one route himself, accompanied 
by a single trooper, and sent the rest in an opposite direction. 
lie had not gone far before he found the gang of seven despera- 
does comfortably bivouacking, with eleven stand of arms, loaded, 
beside them ; and by a sudden and gallant attack, secured them 
all, and brought them into Bathurst; his prowess being duly 
appreciated by the settlers, who presented him with a valuable 
token of their gratitude. 

The plan usually pursued by the bush-rangers in robbing a 
house (which I imagine they very rarely do without collision 
with the servants) is to walk quietly in, and " bail up," i. e. 
bind with cords, or otherwise secure, the male portion, leaving 
an armed guard over them, whilst the rest of the gang ransack 
the house, taking all firearms, money, plate, or valuables, toge- 
ther with what clothes or stores they require. Besistance is out 
of the question, silence or death being the alternative. One 
friend of ours on such an occasion sprang across the room to 
seize his gun, the moment the bush-rangers entered, but they 
fired, and he was severely wounded, without gaining his object; 
another gentleman had several fingers shot off, but the wretches 
seldom commit murder if their victims quietly submit to their 
peremptory demands. 

Another unpleasant class of neighbours were the native dogs, 
or dingoes, evidently a species of wolf, or perhaps the connect- 

chap, xiv.] DINGOES. 133 

ing link between the wolf and dog. These creatures were very- 
numerous around us, and their howling or yelling at night in the 
neighbouring forests had a most dismal, unearthly kind of tone. 
They are more the figure of a Scotch colly, or sheep-dog, than 
any other I can think of as a comparison, but considerably larger, 
taller, and more gaunt-looking, with shaggy, wiry hair, and 
most often of a sandy colour. Their appearance is altogether 
wolfish, and the expression of the head especially so, nor do 
their ferocious habits by any means weaken the likeness. 

We had a number of calves, which, for greater safety from 
these savage animals, were folded at night in one of the old 
orchards adjoining the house ; but several of the poor little 
ones fell victims to the dingoes. Shortly after our arrival at our 
new residence, we were one night alarmed by a fearful outcry 
among the calves, and Mr. Meredith, who instantly divined the 
cause, got up, and found several dingoes dragging along one of 
the youngest of the herd ; as they ran away he fired, but the 
night being thickly dark, the brutes escaped. The cries of terror 
among the poor calves had brought all the cows to the spot, 
and the indescribable moaning and bellowing they continued 
until morning showed their instinctive knowledge of the danger. 
The poor wounded calf was so much injured that it died the fol- 
lowing day, and its unhappy mother, after watching and com- 
forting it as long as life remained, never ceased her cries and 
moans till she entirely lost her voice from hoarseness : I have 
rarely seen anything more distressing than the poor animal's 
misery ; and to prevent such an occurrence again, the youngest 
calves were always locked in the stable at night. 

The dingoes rarely kill their victim at once, but coolly com- 
mence eating it, at whatever part they chance to have first laid 
hold of, three or four often gnawing at the unfortunate animal 
together, whilst its agonised cries do not seem to disturb their 
horrible feast in the slightest degree ; and unless by chance a 
vital part is destroyed, the maimed creature probably lingers 
during hours of protracted and unimaginable torture. 

Their audacity, too, is quite equal to their other engaging 
qualities. Finding that our veal was not to be obtained, a party 
of them made an onslaught on our pork, and very early one morn- 
ing carried off a nice fat pig, nearly full grown. Luckily pigs 

134 DINGOES. [chap. xiv. 

are not often disposed to be silent martyrs, and the one in ques- 
tion made so resolute a protest against the abduction, that the 
noise reached Mr. Meredith, who immediately gave chace, and 
soon met the main body of porkers trotting home at a most un- 
wonted speed, whilst the voice of woe continued its wail in the 
distance ; on coming to the spot, he found two dingoes dragging 
off the pig by the hind legs towards a thick scrub ; he fired, 
wounding one, when both released their victim and made off, the 
poor pig trotting home, telling a long and emphatic story of its 
wrongs and sufferings, from which it eventually recovered. In 
about two hours after this, a lame white dingo, the same which 
had been so lately shot at, boldly chased my two pet goats into 
the veranda ! 

On one occasion Mr. Meredith was travelling from one station 
to another with a number of cattle, both old and young, and at 
night had, as usual, placed them in a secure stock-yard, the 
calves being with the cows. On going to see them turned out 
in the morning, the peculiar moaning of a cow struck him as 
being similar to that of one which had lost her calf; but knowing 
they were all right the night before, he paid little attention to it, 
until, on observing a skin and fresh blood just outside the rails, 
he examined more closely, and found that the dingoes had con- 
trived to drag a young calf through the bars of the stock-yard, 
and had devoured it (doubtless nearly alive) within a foot or two 
of the miserable cow, who could see and hear, but not help, her 
poor little one. 

Frequently, when their visits are interrupted, a foal or calf is 
found with a limb half-eaten away, and the utmost vigilance is 
requisite to protect the yet more helpless sheep from their raven- 
ous jaws. All flocks are folded at night and watched. Two 
yards or folds are usually erected near together, between which 
• the watchman has his box, and a large bright fire, and frequently 
during the night he walks round with his dogs. 

I had not the satisfaction of seeing any of the marauders about 
us taken, though they were continually seen by the servants 
skulking about, early in the morning, and I have seen them pass 
through our veranda before sunrise, followed by our own dogs, 
barking and growling their evident dislike of the intruders. The 
dingoes do not bark, but howl and yell most dismally. The 


Cumberland hounds meet occasionally in the neighbourhood of 
Homebush, and I hoped they would find and destroy some ; but 
though repeatedly on the scent, they did not succeed, and the 
members of the " hunt " seemed generally to prefer having their 
fox (dingo) in a bag, to the trouble, or, as I should have supposed 
it, sport of finding one in the forest. 

The " flying fox " of New South Wales is an animal I do not 
remember to have seen any published account of, yet it is a very 
remarkable one. I had often heard Mr. Meredith speak of the 
quantities of these creatures that he had seen on the shores of the 
Hunter's River, but was not aware we had any of them near us, 
until one moonlight night, whilst initiating an English friend 
into the barbarous mysteries of opossum-shooting (familiarly 
termed " possumin"), he heard a great flapping and rustling 
amongst the branches and leaves above his head, and firing, 
brought down a very fine specimen of the flying fox. 

I forget the dimensions which Dr. Buckland assigns to the 
pterodactyle, the gigantic bat of a former world ; but this seemed 
a not unworthy representative of the species, the wings measur- 
ing between four and five feet at their full expansion, and the 
body being larger than that of a well-conditioned rat. The head 
more resembles that of a dog than a bat, covered, like the middle 
and hinder portions of the body, with thick black fur, that round 
the neck being fox-coloured. The claws and limbs of the wings 
are very strong, and the membrane very tough and elastic. 

These giant bats are especially destructive in orchards, as they 
have a great penchant for ripe fruit, particularly peaches, and 
their mode of gathering their dessert not being economical, they 
knock off great quantities while buffeting about in the trees; 
added to which, their scent is so exceedingly unpleasant that no 
fruit they have once touched is eatable. 

I never saw any other large bats here. Several of a small 
kind, apparently very similar to the common little English bat, 
used to flit about the house in an evening ; but I liked them too 
well to molest them. 

One dead specimen of the flying opossum was brought to me. 
The head greatly resembles in its gentle expression those of the 
other kinds of opossum, and with a still greater length of pre- 
hensile tail. The fore and hind legs on either side are enclosed 

136 NATIVE CATS-ROBINS. [chap, xiv 

in the soft, elastic, furry membrane, which spreads like a bat's 
wing from the back, leaving only the sharply clawed feet exposed. 
On having the body skinned, I observed that this membrane was 
double, and easily separated, but without the slightest particle of 
any other substance between the two thin, almost transparent 
textures. The upper portion was covered with warm black fur ; 
the under part had a thinner covering of soft, greyish white 

Several of the mischievous little animals commonly called 

native cats (Dasyurus ?) were destroyed by our dogs. They 

seem to occupy the same place in Australia that the weasel and 
ferret family do at home, being terribly destructive if they can 
get into the henhouse ; not only killing to eat, but continuing to 
kill as many fowls or turkeys as they have time for, leaving a 
sad spectacle of mangled corses behind them. They are pretty, 
but have a sharp, vicious countenance, very different to the deer- 
like expression of the herbivorous animals here. Their common 
colour is grey, finely spotted with white ; the tail thin, covered 
with rather long, wiry hair, which forms a sort of tassel at the 
end. They are about the size of a lean, half-grown domestic 
cat, very agile, fierce, and strong, and extremely tenacious of 
life. Dogs seem to have a natural propensity to destroy them, 
but sometimes find the engagement rather more equal than they 
might wish. 

Very few birds came near our house, but among those few 
was the robin (Petroica phceniceaf), as much more beautiful in 
plumage as he is inferior in note to our winter darling in Eng- 
land, but with exactly the same jaunty air, and brisk, quick 
manner. His attire is, I really think, the most exquisite of all 
the feathered creatures here : the breast is the most vivid gera- 
nium-colour, softening to a paler shade towards the wings, which 
are glossy black, with clear white markings across them ; the 
back is also black, with a white spot on the crown of the head, 
and the tail-feathers are also barred with white. The colours 
are so clear and distinct as almost to convey the idea of different 
garments put on and fitted with the most exquisite taste ; whilst 
the gay, frolicsome air, and intelligent, bright, black eyes of the 
little beau tell you that he is by no means unconscious of the 
very favourable impression his appearance must create. He 


hops about, sings a few notes of a soft, lively little song- ; flies to 
a rail or low tree, and arranges some fancied impropriety in a 
wing-feather ; then surveys the glossy spread of his tail as he 
peeps over his shoulder, and after a few more hops, and another 
small warble, very sweet and very low — a passing glance, like 
the flash of a tiny flambeau, and he is gone ! 

Some robins, which I supposed the females, have a less vivid 
scarlet on the breast, though similar in all other respects. 

When we first came to Homebush, I observed fragments of 
many swallows' nests in the veranda, and marks where others 
had been, but had wholly crumbled away, the constant heat so 
drying the mud that it could not stick, and the poor birds were 
in constant danger of losing both their patient labour and their 
helpless young. To obviate this sad distress, I had a few little 
shelves nailed up in the most retired part of the veranda, as 
foundations for the nests, and soon had the satisfaction of seeing 
a nice strong superstructure raised on one of them, from which 
in process of time five downy little heads emerged, opening very 
wide mouths for the food constantly supplied by the parent birds. 
Only one family placed themselves thus under our immediate pro- 
tection, but many others built in the old barn and other outhouses. 

One bird which frequently came near the house has a very 
singular note, which has gained for him the Colonial sobriquet 
of the " knife-grinder ;" a portion of his song bearing a most 
accurate resemblance to the sound of grinding a knife on the 
grindstone, giving exactly the crrew - - - - whiss - ss - ss -, but in 
a most musical and dulcet tone. His attire, as befitting an 
artisan, is somewhat sober and plain. 

Another equally singular voice among our feathered friends 
was that of the " coachman," than which no title could be 
more appropriate, his chief note being a long clear whistle, with 
a smart crack of the whip to finish with. Although I have often 
heard his fine clear voice sounding far above me, from his 
favourite perch in the top of the highest tree near, I never had a 
distinct view of Mr. Jehu. 

The " bell-bird " has, as may be supposed, won its appellation 
from the resemblance of its deep full voice to the tones of a bell ; 
and that general favourite, the " laughing jackass," equally well 
merits the first portion of his title, by his merry and most musical 

138 " LAUGHING JACKASSES." [chap. xiv. 

peals of laughter ; but why he should be called a "jackass" at 
all, I am at a loss to divine. Under this name, however, he is 
generally respected in the colony, being an adroit destroyer of 
snakes, guanas, and other reptiles. When many of these merry 
birds congregate together, the effect is extremely droll : first one 
begins alone, and laughs lustily out at the top of his voice ; a 
second, third, and fourth then take up the strain, like glee-singers, 
till the whole party are fairly off, and the very trees seem to peal 
out along with them. I am half inclined to fancy that Martini's 
popular laughing chorus, u Vadasi via di qua, 1 ' must have been 
suggested by the voices of my friends the Australian jackasses ; 
certain it is, that both songs have an equally infectious spirit, 
and set the most gloomy-minded listener laughing in concert, 
whether he will or no. The poor birds often fall victims to their 
own accomplishments, for, being much esteemed as " pets," they 
are frequently maimed to prevent their escape, and tied by the 
leg or closely caged, whilst their less human persecutors spoil 
their naturally merry voices by teaching them a few lame bars 
of some London-alley tune ; and " All round my Hat," " Jump 
Jim Crow," or " Sich a getting up Stairs," tells a melancholy 
story of their miserable fate. 

Many small birds, with which I am not sufficiently acquainted 
to describe them, inhabited our woods ; and one or two kinds of 
" larks," as they are called, used to rise in considerable numbers 
from the dry grass-tufts, as we walked over the cleared land. A 
few quail, a chance wild duck or teal, and one solitary snipe, 
formed our list of game at Homebush, and I scarcely saw a par- 
rot during our stay. 

chap, xv.] NORFOLK ISLAND PINE. 139 


Norfolk Island Pine — English Pear-tree — Daisy — Bush Flowers — Creepers 
— " He-oak" — Zamia — " Wooden Pear-tree" — Native Cherry — Insect Ar- 
chitecture — Twig Nests, &c. — Butterflies — Ground-Spiders — Tarantula — 
Silk-Spiders— Scorpions — Hornets — Mosquitoes — Ants. 

The Norfolk Island pine (Aracauria excelsa), of which, as I 
have before remarked, we had three magnificent specimens close 
to the house, is certainly the most noble and stately tree of all 
the pine family that I have ever seen, beautiful as are they all. 
The tall, erect, and tapering stem (seventy or eighty feet high), 
the regularity of the circling branches, lessening by small degrees 
from the widely-spread expanse below, to the tiny cross that 
crowns the summit of the exquisite natural spire, and the richly 
verdant, dense, massive foliage clothing the whole with an un- 
fading array of scale-armour, form altogether the finest model of 
a pine that can be imagined. The cones too are worthy to 
grow on such a tree; solid ponderous things, as large as a 
child's head — not a baby's head, neither — with a fine embossed 
coat of mail, firmly seated on the beam-like branches, as if defy- 
ing the winds to shake them. 

Mr. Meredith climbed very nearly to the summit of our tallest 
pine, and said he had never seen anything more beautiful than 
the downward view into and over the mass of diverging branches 
spread forth beneath him. He brought me down one cone, with 
its spray, if so I may call the armful of thick green shoots that 
surrounded it, and I was gazing at it for half the day after ; it 
was so different from anything I had seen before, so new, and so 
grandly beautiful. The rigidity of the foliage had a sculpture- 
like character, that made me think how exquisitely Gibbons 
would have wrought its image in some of his graceful and stately 
designs, had he ever seen the glorious tree. 

One of those at Homebush grew near to the front veranda, 

140 ENGLISH PEAR-TREE— DAISY. [chap. xv. 

and some of its enormous roots had spread under the heavy stone 
pavement, lifting it up in an arch, like a bridge. 

When the cones ripened, the large winged seeds fell out in 
great numbers; they require to be planted immediately, if at all, 
as the oil in them quickly dries out, and with it the vegetative 
properties are lost. 

Close under the towering pines grew a common English pear- 
tree ; a crooked, wide-spreading, leafy, farm-house-garden sort of 
pear-tree, that won my especial love, from the good old-fashioned 
pictures of gable-ended houses and neat garden-orchards it 
brought into my mind, and the glory and delight of its spring-time 
blossoms was an earnest and most child-like joy to me. Surely 
never was pear-tree so watched and gazed on, both morning, 
evening, and moonlight ! — for Sydney moonlights are like tro- 
pical ones, so clear, so silver-bright, that I could see to read 
small print as well as by day— and the old pear-tree shone out in 
them like a beautiful vision of home, telling store of pleasant 
stories in each fluttering leaf that fell from its thousands of 
flowers — telling of bloomy fragrant gardens, with velvet turf 
paths, and shady arbours, and singing birds, and little running 
brooks, one of whose silver threads near our thirsty home would 
have been a priceless treasure — oh ! it was an exhaustless remem- 
brancer of pleasant by-gones was that old pear-tree ! 

Its rival in my home-loving regards was a little root of the 
double daisy, which, as a great treasure, my husband brought me 
one day from a gardener's. It lived, as very few daisies do at 
home, I can tell them, in a pot by itself, and was carried into 
the shade, and watered daily, and tended with as much solicitude 
as any rara avis of the choicest conservatory. It bore two nice 
pinky-white daisies, just like real English ones ; and then, dining 
an illness I had, in which I could not attend to it, it withered 
away, and my first glance into the garden showed me the 
scorched remains of my poor favourite. 

Many very pretty native flowers and shrubs adorned our 
" bush," or rather forest, and the graceful native indigo crept up 
many bushes and fences, sometimes totally hiding them with its 
elegant draperies. Another handsome climber of the same 
family (Kennedia) has rich crimson flowers, very long in the part 
called the keel, with blight yellow stamens protruding from its 

chap, xv.] BUSH-FLOWERS- CREEPERS. 141 

point. This species climbs to a height of twenty or thirty feet, 
and the dark leaves and drooping flowers hang down in elegant 
pendulous wreaths. But the most beautiful climbing plant I 
have yet seen in Australia, I know not the name of, nor can I 
find any botanical description to suit it, except that of Bignonia 
Australis, which it possibly is. The leaves resemble those of 
the jessamine in form, but are much larger, and of a rich glossy 
green ; the flowers fox-glove shaped, in long axillary sprays, 
their colour being a delicate cream-colour, beautifully variegated 
within by bright purple markings. I only found one plant of it, 
in a (comparatively) cool moist thicket in our Homebush wood. 

Great quantities of a tall, handsome, herbaceous plant, com- 
monly called the " mock-cotton tree," grew near us, and by the 
roadsides around Sydney, it having at one time been introduced 
as a probably profitable speculation, but the cotton was not found 
to be a marketable article. The clusters of white flowers are ex- 
tremely beautiful, having very' much the structure of the Hoy a 
carnosa, and are full of clear honey. I used to put them to a 
very ignoble use, namely, as fly-cages, to attract the troublesome 
swarms from our picture-frames, which the honey-laden blossoms 
effected to a great extent. 

The seed-pods are large, and full of most beautiful soft fila- 
ments, like white floss silk, which before they are ruffled by the 
wind have a bright and silvery gloss, that might well tempt a 
trial of so fair a material in manufactures. It looks as if it 
might be spun into an exquisite stuff between cambric and satin ; 
and I think still, that some clever genius of the spinning-jennies 
might weave us a most dainty and gossamer fabric of its fine and 
even threads, which are the wings of the seeds, and being so 
light and long, waft them an immense distance, often to the an- 
noyance of the agriculturist, who would by no means partake in 
my idle admiration of his insidious foe. I suppose it is a species 
of Asclepias. 

Small shrubs with yellow and orange papilionaceous blossoms 
abounded everywhere, some clinging to the ground like mosses, 
and others, with every variety of soft and hard, smooth and 
prickly leaves that can be imagined, growing into tall shrubs, 
all very pretty, but with so strong a family likeness that I grew 
fastidious among them, and rarely gathered more than two or 

142 "HE-OAK"— WOODEN PEAR-TREE. [chap, x v. 

three. A small scentless violet and a bright little yellow sorrel 
(which is an excellent salad-herb) made some few patches of the 
dry earth gay with their blue and golden blossoms, and the ground 
convolvulus and southern harebell seldom failed to greet me in 
our rambles. Various kinds of epacris also abounded, with deli- 
cate wax-like pink and white flowers. 

The trees called by the Colonists " he-oak" and " she-oak" ( Ca- 
suarina stricta and C. torulosa) form a remarkable feature in 
Australian scenery. They are usually of rather handsome forms, 
with dark, rough, permanent bark, and brownish-olive foliage, re- 
sembling in structure the " horse-tails" of English brooks, con- 
sisting of long tufts of jointed grassy branchlets, hanging down 
like coarse hair, or a horse's tail. The he-oak has much shorter 
tresses than the she-oak, which may perhaps have given rise to 
the absurd Colonial distinction of the species (as they belong to 
the order Moncccia). The blossoms in spring appear like a small 
crimson fringe on portions of the branches, and the succeeding 
cones are the size of a pigeon's egg, very roughly tubercled. 
Perhaps none of all the novel trees in this Colony have so com- 
pletely strange and un-English an aspect as these; and in a 
moderate breeze the tones uttered amongst their thousands of 
waving, whispering strings are far from unmusical, and reminded 
me of the lower, wailing notes of an JEolian harp. However 
luxuriant may be the foliage of one of these singular trees, the 
skeleton form of the branches is never hidden, but every twig 
shows itself, making a drawing of one rather a puzzling affair to 
so humble a limner as myself. 

She-oak is especially liked as fuel. It is said that this name 
has been borrowed from the sheac, or cheoak, of America, in con- 
sequence of some resemblance in the wood. 

The zamia, now so well known in English stoves, I have often 
observed near Sydney, with its handsome coronet of palm-like 
leaves gracefully spreading round the central cone. Near the 
road to Cook's River they grow very numerously. 

The name, and some resemblance in form between the seed- 
vessel and the fruit, form all the likeness which the famed 
" wooden pear-tree" of Australia bears to its more useful name- 
sake at home. One or two large specimens of the wooden fruit 
which I saw were the size of a good Jargonelle pear. When 


ripe, they split open from end to end, showing a solid wooden 
structure, with the thin winged seeds scaling off the inner sides. 
Several other shrubs bear similar seed-vessels of a smaller size. 

The " native cherry" {Exocarpus cupressiformis) has no 
better claim to its borrowed title than the pear-tree, being in 
foliage more like a cypress, but of a brighter and yellower green 
than the generality of trees in this ever-brown region. Its form 
is usually handsome, although it seldom attains a large size, and 
the wood is remarkably close, hard, and finely grained, well 
adapted for turning or carving. The fruit, so celebrated among 
Antipodean contrarieties for having the " stone outside," is like 
a small yew-berry, but still less pleasant in flavour, with a hard 
seed growing from its end, fancifully termed the stone. Of all 
countries or climates, I think that of Australia must be the most 
barren of useful natural products of the vegetable kingdom ; for 
this miserable " cherry" is the best specimen of its indigenous 
fruits, if not the only one; nor am I aware of any one edible 
grain or root fit for human food. Some florid descriptive 
writers have, I know, luxuriated in depicting imaginary gardens 
of " parsley and wild carrots," amidst which the cattle are said 
to revel in abundance ; but whilst in the Colony I never heard 
of such things. Perhaps the wretched root which, as I have 
before mentioned, the aborigines dig for when all other suste- 
nance fails them, may be the " carrot" in question ; but it is too 
hotj stringy, bitter, and small to be of the slightest use to Euro- 

Some of the insect-architects here are most extraordinary 
creatures ; but I grieve to say I know comparatively little about 
them, my chief acquaintance being with their deserted houses, 
of which I have several kinds. Some of these are formed of 
straight twigs, the sixth or eighth part of an inch thick, and 
from two to four inches long, placed side by side in a circular 
form, and very strongly webbed together within, so that it is 
impossible to tear them asunder without breaking the twigs, the 
ends of which usually project beyond the closed portion of the 
cell, which is suspended by a strong web woven over the spray 
of a tree or shrub, so as to let it swing with the wind. I have 
sometimes seen a large white caterpillar inside an unfinished cell, 
and on one or two occasions have observed a bush or tree so full 



[chap. XV. 

Strong bags of web, with sticks strongly fastened 
round them. 

Cone of web, with dry leaves 
loosely attached to it. 

Cell like an egg, stuck on atwig. 

Cone of web, with small twigs 
and grass straws attached. 

chap, xv.] INSECT CELLS. 145 

of these pendent berths as to give them the appearance of a 
good crop of some fruit or seed ; but (very stupidly) I always 
limited my collection to the vacant ones, or I might have learned 
much more of their economy. How such a creature could cut 
off, and carry to their destined place, pieces of twig four or five 
times its own weight, I cannot imagine : that they were cut 
expressly for the purpose is evident from the neat manner in 
which the ends are rounded off : they are left of uneven lengths, 
and not webbed on the outside, which, together with their being 
hung so as to wave with the leaves of the tree, seem all pre- 
cautions against discovery. 

Some are formed in the same manner of much smaller twigs ; 
others are pointed bags of strong web, with small bits of stick 
fastened at intervals on the outside ; and some are formed of a 
webbed bag, to which quantities of small dead leaves are attached 
by one end only, so as to cover it entirely, and nutter like a 
withered bunch of leaves ; but all are hung upon trees as much 
resembling the nests in colour and aspect as possible. Those I 
have opened are lined within with the smoothest white silken 
web, the outer portion being brown or ash-coloured, to corre- 
spond with the tint of the twigs or leaves. 

I have two examples of another kind of cell, like a very small 
bird's egg, of a brown ash-colour, with one end open and the 
other firmly attached to a twig. At first it might be mistaken 
for the empty seed-vessel of a plant (had I not gathered it from 
a pod-bearing shrub) ; but on inspection the cell seems evidently 
built upon, not grown out of, the spray. The egg-shape is per- 
fect, and the open end smoothly finished. Both those I found 
were empty, their texture was quite smooth and hard, the same 
substance to all appearance as the bark on which they were so 
firmly lodged. 

I saw very few butterflies in New South Wales, not more than 
two species, I think, both of a finely spotted copper colour. 
Large moths are more numerous ; but of these I did not notice 
many remarkable ones. Whilst we were at Bathurst, the settlers 
were complaining of a kind of white grub which infested the 
roots of the corn, and by eating through the stalks destroyed the 
crops ; I have seen half a dozen, or more of them, at one root. 
Before we left Bathurst, a prodigious number of small copper 


143 GROUND-SPIDERS. [chap. xv. 

butterflies were seen flying about, and I had strong suspicions of 
their being identical with the destructive grubs. 

The ground-spiders may well be ranked among the wonderful 
native architects of Australia ; they are of various sizes, and 
differ in their colour, form, and markings. They hollow a 
circular hole in the earth, adapted to the size of their body, 
and more beautifully formed and perfectly round than any 
engineer with all his scientific instruments could have made 
it. Within, it is nicely tapestried with the finest web, woven 
closely over the wall of this subterranean withdrawing-room, the 
depth of which I never accurately ascertained, as at a certain 
distance they seem to curve, or perhaps lead into a side-cell, 
where the feelers of fine grass I have introduced could not pene- 
trate. Some of these tunnels terminate at the surface with 
merely a slight web spun over the grains of soil close to the 
aperture, as if to prevent their rolling into it ; the holes being 
from one-sixth of an inch to an inch or more in diameter. Some 
of them boast the extraordinary luxury of a front door ; these 
I imagine to be rather first-rate kind of spiders, and their doors 
are as beautiful instances of insect skill and artifice as any that 
our wonder-teeming world displays to us. When shut down 
over the hole, nothing but the most accurate previous knowledge 
could induce any person to fancy they could perceive any dif- 
ference in the surface of the soil ; but, perhaps, if you remain 
very still for some minutes, the clever inhabitant will come 
forth, when you first perceive a circle of earth, perhaps the size 
of a wedding-ring or larger, lifted up from beneath, like a trap- 
door ; it falls back gently on its hinge side, and a fine, hairy, 
beautifully pencilled brown or grey spider pops out, and most 
probably pops in again, to sit just beneath the opening, and wait 
for his dinner of flies or other eatable intruders. Then we see 
that the under side and the rim of his earthen door are thickly 
and neatly webbed over, so that not a grain of soil can fall away 
from its thickness, which is usually about the eighth or tenth of 
an inch, and although so skilfully webbed below, the upper 
surface preserves exactly the same appearance as the surrounding 
soil. The hinge consists also of web, neatly attached to that 
of the lid -and the box. I have the greatest respect and admira- 
tion for these clever mechanics, and though I very often, with a 

chap, xv.] TARANTULAS. 147 

bent of grass or a soft green twig, try to persuade one to come 
up and be looked at (which they generally do, nipping fast 
hold of the intrusive probe), I never was guilty of hurting one. 
I have picked very large ones off ground that the plough had 
just turned over, and have carried them to places unlikely to be 
disturbed : and I generally have two or three particular friends 
among them, whom I frequently take a peep at. They often travel 
some distance from home, probably in search of food, as I have 
overtaken and watched them returning, when they seldom turn 
aside from hand or foot placed in their way, but go steadily 
on at a good swift pace, and, after dropping into their hole, put 
forth a claw, and hook the door to after them, just as a man 
would close a trap-door above him when descending a ladder. 

The tarantula is not quite so great a favourite with me, as I 
have strong suspicions of its bite being venomous. At first I 
understood them to be harmless, although servants and ignorant 
people hold them in great abhorrence, and, unless too frightened 
to approach, always kill them when discovered. Certainly the 
appearance of a full-sized tarantula is by no means prepossessing. 
An oval body nearly an inch long, and a proportionably large 
head and shoulders, are surrounded by eight bent-up legs, two or 
three inches long, covered, as are also the head and body, with 
thick, fine, brown, hair-like fur. When disturbed they scramble 
along at a rapid rate, and are very frequent residents behind pic- 
tures or furniture against the wall, often causing terrific screams 
from one's housemaid, which are somewhat alarming, until, on 
inquiry, the dreadful words " A Triantelope, Ma'am !" are 
gasped out, and the tragedy ends in the death, or, as I usually 
arrange it, the careful expulsion of the intruder. 

Not being learned in entomology, I know not if the tarantula 
is a spinning spider or not, but I never saw one in a web, or 
detected any thread attached to their bodies. Out of doors their 
favourite haunts are old trees, where they live between the loose 
bark and the wood, or in cracks of wooden fences ; and from the 
large families of several generations which I have sometimes dis- 
covered, I imagine their habits to be somewhat patriarchal. 

Several persons of education and intelligence have assured me 
of their dangerous nature, but I have never yet witnessed an 
instance of it, and they are such patient and industrious fly- 

i, 2 

148 SCORPIONS. [chap. xv. 

catchers, that so long as they confine their perambulations to the 
ceiling, or the upper portion of the walls of a room, I never dis- 
turb them. 

Many other large kinds of spider are common, and frequently 
in the woods I have found some with immense webs of dark 
yellow silk, which would bear a tolerable pull without break- 
ing ; the threads being far thicker and stronger than those 
of the silkworm, and often stretched from tree to tree in a 
length of several yards. The weavers of these are very hand- 
somely marked spiders of various colours, bright green being a pre- 
valent one. If, as I remember hearing some years since, spiders' 
web can be spun into gloves and lace, the manufacturers would do 
well to procure a supply of the raw material from Australia. 

We once found what appeared to be the first essay of a nume- 
rous family of young spiders at setting up in life on their own 
account. The large parent web, of strong bright silk, was spread 
out in all its exquisite and regular divisions across a path, with 
the portly owner daintily arrayed in green, with leopard -spot 
markings, staidly poised in the centre ; and close by, scattered 
amongst the twigs and leaves of the thick shrubs, hung a multi- 
tude of little starry webs, with a little spider seated in the midst 
of each, all exactly the same size, and bearing a strong filial 
resemblance to the large one. 

The scorpion is a far more truly formidable creature than the 
tarantula, and, as it frequently lives in old wood, is apt to be 
brought into the house with the fuel. It is the real, orthodox, 
zodiacal scorpion, with its hideous scaly, claw-armed body, and 
long jointed tail, ending in a fearful sting, a wound from which is 
severely painful, and often of dangerous consequence. It is, with- 
out doubt, the most horrible-looking of all the creeping and crawl- 
ing fraternity that I am acquainted with ; and even my philanthropy 
cannot defend the detestable scorpion, which I ruthlessly kill when- 
ever an opportunity offers. Those I have seen in these Colonies 
are about two inches long, the tail being about half the entire 
length; and when the creature is disturbed, this diabolical tail seems 
to turn on a dozen pivots, darting in every direction, until, when 
hard pressed or wounded, the creature most assuredly stings ; itself 
(even without being "girt by fire"), but whether accidentally, or 
with intent to commit felo de se, of course no one can decide, unless 

chap, xv.] HORNETS— MOSQUITOES— ANTS. 149 

some vicious, venomous individual who was a scorpion " in Pytha- 
goras' time" can throw light on this poesy-honoured question ! 

On several evenings I was driven from the veranda, where we 
commonly sat for some time after sunset, by the sudden appearance 
of great numbers of large hornets flying in all directions ; and 
the cattle and horses seemed, by their half frantic demeanour and 
loud cries, as well aware as ourselves what dangerous visitors had 
arrived, although we did not find that any of the animals were 
stung. All the fences near the house were thickly occupied by 
the hornets, who seemed, by their loud buzzing and rapid move- 
ments, to be themselves in a state of great excitement. These 
tumultuous and most unpleasant assemblies took place for several 
evenings in succession, but fortunately the terror of all our house- 
hold sufficed to keep every one as much within doors as possible, 
and we all escaped being stung. I did not even see a single hornet 
in the house, which, with such countless swarms careering through 
the air all around, and even in the veranda, seems rather singular. 

Mosquitoes used to rise in positive clouds from the banks of 
the creek in the evening, and if I dared to remain then near the 
water, they severely punished my temerity, their long sharp pro- 
boscis piercing like a fine needle through shoes, gloves, dress, or 
shawl, and the shrill hum of some hundreds round my face seem- 
ing to promise a still further increase of their delicate attentions. 
A precipitate retreat was my only resource, for most fortunately 
we were rarely annoyed by them within doors, and there at least 
I could escape the torments. 

But the house, as if no place in this Colony could be free from 
nuisances, was assailed by myriads of ants, that made their way 
into every description of sweet stuff, through every kind of bar- 
rier ; jars, canisters, boxes, and papers were alike unavailing ; 
whatever I touched seemed alive with ants, and their industry 
was unwearied ; day and night the " runs," or paths they tra- 
versed, were always black with their countless millions, like a 
miniature Cheapside or Ludgate Hill, and none of our destruc- 
tive or protective measures seemed to make the least difference. 
If one million were scalded, two more supplied their place, 
and I have met some of the little foragers with bits of sugar 
in their mouths far down the garden, showing their plans 
of business to be on a most extensive scale. 

150 GUANAS— LIZARDS. [chap. xvi. 


Guanas — Lizards — Snakes — Salt - Marshes — Fishing — Crabs — Toad - fish — 
Mangrove-trees — Romance and Reality — Night Sounds — Orange-groves — 
Gardens — Gigantic Lily — Scarcity of Fresh Water — Winter Rains — Salt 
Well — Climate in Winter — Society — Conversation — Servants — Embark 
for Van Diemen's Land. 

Many large kinds of guanas inhabit New South Wales ; some, 
which have been described to me, must be enormous reptiles. I 
have only seen two species, the most common being generally 
called the sleeping lizard, and is found also in Van Diemen's 
Land. It is about a foot or fourteen inches in length, the body 
dark coloured, fat, and bloated-looking ; the tail short and thick ; 
the head broad, with a snaky expression, and a long blue tongue, 
which gives the poor animal a terrible reputation among the 
vulgar, who declare that so blue a tongue must be a proof of its 
venomous nature. I believe, if the poor stupid creatures had 
the sense to keep their ill-hued tongues out of sight, many hun- 
dreds would escape violent deaths. Contrary to the habits of 
most lizards, which are remarkable for their extreme activity and 
timid alertness on the approach of a footstep, or the slightest 
noise, the sleeping guana is often seen lying in the midst of the 
road, and frequently the crushed body of one bears disastrous 
evidence of the fatal consequences of indolence. Sometimes we 
have turned aside to avoid driving over them, or have bestowed 
a light lash of the whip in passing, which only caused them to 
crawl slowly away, as if our friendly hint were a most officious 
and impertinent proceeding, and they had- rather a preference for 
being trodden or rolled to death. They are most undeniably 
ugly creatures, although without the hideous pouch-cheeks of 
the West Indian guanas/; but we always considered them quite 
harmless, until a little incident which occurred since our resi- 
dence in Van Diemen's Land led us to suspect them of being at 

chap, xvi.] GUANAS— LIZARDS. 151 

least capable of mischief. One day, last summer, we found one 
lying- in our path, during a bush-ramble ; and without any inten- 
tion to hurt or annoy the animal, but merely to intimate that its 
place of repose was an unsafe one, Mr. Meredith touched it 
gently with the barrel of his gun, when, instead of retreating as 
might be expected, it turned fiercely round, and snapped re- 
peatedly at the gun, just as a savage dog would do, and bit so 
sharply and strongly as to cut into the solid iron with its teeth, 
as deeply as a hard stroke of a diamond cuts into glass. Had a 
hand or foot been in the place of the gun, a fearful wound must 
have been inflicted. Still, as they appear only to act on the 
defensive, I see no reason for wantonly destroying them, although 
I would not advise any one to incur their bite. 

My other acquaintance in the guana- family is a far less loath- 
some creature ; I have only seen one specimen, which Mr. Mere- 
dith shot, as it was swiftly climbing a tree, with only its head 
exposed, watching his movements. The head and body of this 
togetherwere not more than ten inches long, but the slender 
tapering tail measured more than twice as much. The head had 
no pouch-cheeks, but was a sharp, knowing-looking lizard's head, 
covered with small, close, hard scales, as were the entire body, tail, 
and legs ; the feet had long toes, and long, sharp, black claws, evi- 
dently well adapted for climbing trees, and seeming as if, like 
the natives' yahoo, it could turn its feet any way required. 
The whole of the creature was most beautifully piebald black 
and white, and in some parts the old scaly coat was shelling off, 
leaving a brighter new one below. This guana had moveable 
teeth, like those of the snake, but, I need scarcely say, we were 
not anxious to experimentalize upon their qualities. By the 
ignorant, and even by some persons who might be supposed to 
know better, these animals are termed goannas, and I have heard 
of a " great pianna " among them. 

Numbers of a small kind of lizard, about five or six inches 
long, used to frequent the garden as well as the " bush," and two 
took up their abode in my china-pantry, where I often saw them 
crouching motionless on the dresser, watching the flies till one 
came near enough to be snapped up in their nimble jaws. Flies 
were so great a torment, that I respected anything which aided 
to destroy them, and accordingly never molested the lizards ; 

152 SNAKES. [chap. xvi. 

but my housemaid, who, I fear, was destitute of all taste for 
natural history, had a great dread of my poor friends, and either 
used to run shrieking away, or fling something at them when- 
ever they ventured into her sight. They were agile, delicate 
little creatures, with bright black eyes, slender long-tailed bodies 
of a mottled grey and pale brown colour, and extremely fine 
small feet and toes. Still, they were reptiles, and the common 
prejudice against their race extended even to these very harmless 
little creatures. 

With the snake tribe in New South Wales, I am happy to say 
my personal acquaintance is very limited, for I fully partake in 
the horror usually and very reasonably entertained of them. 
Our servants had frequently raised an alarm about a " large black 
snake," which lived in an unoccupied hut near the house, but it 
always vanished before a gun could be brought, and we rather 
discredited the story, until on one occasion the alarm being, I 
suppose, more quietly given, Mr. Meredith succeeded in shooting 
it through the head, to the extreme satisfaction of the whole 
household. It was not a large snake, not being more than four 
feet long, of a purplish black colour, with a kind of damson- 
bloom on the skin, instead of a polished appearance, which most 
of them have, and down each side was a streak of dim red. The 
extreme tenacity of life in these reptiles, or more probably the 
long continuance of muscular power and motion, even after the 
head has been wholly severed from the body, has given rise to a 
common idea that at whatever time of the day a snake may be 
killed, it cannot die until sunset. The extraordinary activity 
with which the tail-end of the creature will leap and jump about, 
whilst the head is swiftly travelling in another direction, is 
horrible to see ; it seems as if every joint had a vitality of its 
own, entirely independent of brains, or spinal cords, or any other 
imagined seat of life. 

One of our men-servants told a story of a large black snake 
which lived in his hut a long time, and used to lie on his bed at 
night, until he took unto himself a wife, who, very naturally, 
demurred at the presence of so suspicious a bed-fellow, and in- 
duced him to kill it. The large kind called the diamond snake 
is (for a snake) as handsome a creature as can be conceived, 
being most exquisitely adorned with various colours, like mosaic- 

chap, xyi.] SALT-MARSHES— FISHING. 153 

work. Could a lapidary imitate its varied markings in a girdle 
or bracelet of gems and gold, his fortune would be made. 

During our walks in the forest we frequently saw a smaller 
kind of snake, about two feet long, and so exactly similar in 
colour to the dead sticks and leaves with which the ground was 
covered, as not to be observed until they moved : I several 
times have most narrowly escaped treading on them, which, as 
all the snakes known in this Colony are venomous, would be a 
dangerous accident. Some species are far more fatal than others, 
and of a few the bite is certainly mortal. Among the latter, 
the small one commonly called the whip-snake, or death-adder, 
is the most rapidly fatal of all. Several instances of immediate 
death from its bite were related to me. On the victims in two 
cases, my informant, our friend Mr. Dunn, of the Hunter River, 
had, as coroner for the district, held inquests ; the evidence 
proving that in one instance death ensued in seven minutes after 
the bite, and in the other in eight, the sufferers being scarcely 
conscious of having been hurt, so very slight had been the punc- 
ture, and so wonderfully subtle the poison. It may well be ima- 
gined that these dreadful occurrences did not tend to diminish 
my terror of snakes. 

One portion of our land at Homebush consisted of salt-water 
marshes, covered in high tides, and producing immense quanti- 
ties of a species of samphire. Through these marshes deep 
drains had been cut and embankments formed, evidently at an 
enormous expenditure of labour, but for what purpose we never 
could divine. One of these drains, which, being very old, had 
become quite natural-looking, with shrubs, trees, and all kinds 
of growth adorning the banks, had a sort of wide flood-gate next 
the creek, through which the tide flowed and ebbed, bringing 
with it quantities of fine fish, bream and mullet especially. A 
couple of narrow logs formed something of an " Al Sirat " across 
the deep channel, which was about twenty feet wide, and on this 
crazy bridge Mr. Meredith used to station himself to fish : but 
not being a votary of the (so called " gentle craft" of quaint old 
Izaak Walton, he found a spear armed with a strong barb a 
more efficient weapon than the rod, and often caught some very 
fine fish. I, meanwhile, read, sketched, or more frequently idled 
away an hour or two in watching the myriads of small crabs with 

154 CRABS— TOAD-FISH. [chap. xvi. 

which the muddy banks were thickly peopled. At a certain 
state of the tide they might be seen scrambling out of the water 
by thousands, and often reminded me of a hungry cargo of stage- 
coach passengers, to whose dinner only a limited time can be 
allotted ; for the whole troop, after sidling a short distance from 
the water, immediately commenced eating most expeditiously, 
picking up some mysterious comestible from the soft rich mud, 
first with one claw and then with the other, and continually 
carrying the supplies to the mouth, which, being situated in the 
broad central region, always gave the idea of a person very busily 
engaged in filling his waistcoat-pockets ; and the effect of some 
thousands of these odd little bodies all engaged in the same 
manoeuvres was droll in the extreme. If disturbed, they in- 
stantly began turning round and round on one claw, as it seemed 
in a kind of pirouette, using themselves as an auger to work their 
way down, and in an incredibly short time were all lost to view. 
Occasionally, two happened to fix on the same spot to bore into, 
or probably old holes remained in the mud, only slightly hidden 
by the last tide, and access to the known sanctuary was disputed ; 
in this case there was usually a great deal of clawing and turning 
under and over, which ended in the combatants both waltzing 
away together under the mud. These crabs were of various 
colours, some red, others black, and some dark green. On the 
sandy beaches near Sydney I have seen some very small ones, of 
a fine blue, just as busy pirouetting into the white sand as my 
Homebush friends were in the black mud. The larger ones had 
bodies the breadth of a dollar, whilst some of the small were not 
bigger than a fourpenny -piece. 

A disgusting tenant of most of the shores around Sydney, and 
of ours in particular, is the toad-fish : most admirably named ; 
it looks precisely like a toad elongated into a fish, with a tough, 
leathery, scaleless skfn, and a bloated body, dark mottled brown 
above and white beneath. It is usually about five inches long, 
and disproportionately broad, but swims very swiftly, and is, for 
its size, as bold and voracious as the shark. When I said Mr. 
Meredith did not fish with a line and rod, I might have added 
that he could not, for the toad-fish, which swarm everywhere, 
no sooner see anything dropped in the water, than they dart 
towards it by dozens, and fight among themselves for the 

chap, xvi.] MANGROVE-TREES. 155 

honour of swallowing your hook, generally taking the precaution 
to bite off the line at the same time. This extreme anxiety to be 
caught might perhaps be pardoned were the greedy little wretches 
fit to eat, but they are highly poisonous ; and although I should 
have thought their disgusting appearance sufficient to prevent 
their being tried, I know one instance, at least, of their fatal 
effects, a lady with whose family I am intimate having died in 
consequence of eating them. As they thus effectually put a 
stop to our angling, by biting off" every hook dropped in the water 
before any other fish had time to look at it, they especially en- 
joyed the benefit of the fishing-spear, upon which many hundreds, 
if not thousands, must have been impaled in succession. This 
sounds very wantonly cruel, I doubt not, but let no one pro- 
nounce it so who is not well acquainted with toad-fish ; from 
those who are, I fear no reproof. When speared, they directly 
inflate their leathery skins to the shape of a balloon, and eject 
a stream of liquid from their mouths, with a report as if they had 
burst. If flung again into the water, however wounded, they 
instantly swim about and begin eating ; and should one be a 
little less active than his fellows, they forthwith attack and eat 
him up. Even my poor little harmless friends the crabs become 
their victims ; when these usually well-armed troops have just 
got their soft new coats on, and are almost defenceless, then 
come the cowardly, ravenous toad-fish, and make terrible on- 
slaughts among them — an attention which, I believe, the crabs 
eventually repay with interest. 

A tree which we, I know not if correctly, called the man- 
grove, grew very luxuriantly on the brink of the salt-water all 
along the embankments. Many of the trees, from their gnarled 
and twisted appearance, seemed very old, but all were clothed in 
a rich glossy verdure, something like the laurel, the leaves not 
being quite so large. 

In the too-completely cleared space around Homebush these 
belts of green trees skirting the water were of great value in our 
view, and the sailing boats which daily passed up the creek, 
glancing behind and between the groups of mangroves, added 
infinitely to our home-pictures, and served to build many a plea- 
sant little fiction upon as they gaily glided past ; distance ren- 
dering all blemishes invisible. After a time, however, these 

156 NIGHT SOUNDS. [chap. xvi. 

" light barks" were stripped of half their interest and all their 
romance by an officious friend, who heartlessly remarked, when 
I one day pointed out a particularly nice effect of light and shade 
on the white sails of one, he " did not know before that Jones's 
brick-boats came up that creek !" 

Twice a day too the Parramatta steamer puffed in sight, as 
she passed the mouth of the wide creek down which we looked 
towards the estuary. And with a telescope, on a Sunday morn- 
ing, we could plainly see the carriages and pedestrians going to 
the new church at Kissing Point, on the opposite shore ; besides 
having a view of the half-way signal-staff ; and on a still night 
hearing the drums beat at the Parramatta barracks. Thus, in 
our quiet retreat, " the contingent advantages" were almost as 
extraordinary as those which the inimitable Dick Swiveller dis- 
covered in the apartments of Mr. Brass. Often, when we have 
sauntered in the garden and veranda late in the evening, espe- 
cially on a dark moonless night, I have listened for a long time 
to the wild tones and voices that rose from the forest and the 
marsh, whilst the wind, gently sweeping through the string-like 
foliage of the casuarina, made a soft flowing music in unison with 
them all. From the marsh arose the multitudinous, incessant 
gurgling, croaking chorus of the lesser frogs, with at intervals 
the deep sonorous clop, clop, of a great one, the Lablache 
of the small fry, whose note is extremely melodious and solemn 
withal, not unlike a single stroke on a very mellow musical bell. 
The long clear treble note of the shy curlew often came from 
many points at once, now near, now distant — calling and answer- 
ing each other. Many persons dislike their cry, but to me it 
has a most plaintive, melodious tone, and sometimes the conclud- 
ing cadence is far from melancholy. I often tried to see the 
curlews, but they retreat on the slightest sound or motion, and, 
except the tame ones at Parramatta, I only knew them as an 
airy voice heard in the " stilly night." The least pleasing part 
of our natural concert was that taken by the troops of dingoes, 
and unfortunately it was often the most prominent. Their inde- 
scribably wild and dismal yelling and howling seemed like the 
cries that evil and tortured spirits might utter in their dire agony, 
and often drove me within ; for though not usually a " nervous" 
person, they made me feel positively uncomfortable, and conjured 


up all the fearful stories of ravenous wolves in howling wilder- 
nesses, and packs of jackals, and all the natural-history-book hor- 
rors that I used to shudder over when a child. 

Some of the vineyards and orange-groves near us were exten- 
sive and very beautiful. The large orange-trees, gay with their 
golden fruit and exquisitely fragrant bridal-blossoms, are among 
the noblest of all the acclimatized products here, and, with the 
many other exotics common in every garden near Sydney, were 
quite a delight to me to see. The handsome bushy pomegranate, 
adorned with quantities of its large red fruit, is tempting in ap- 
pearance, but its beauty is very deceptive. The rind is thick 
and as hard as wood, containing nothing but seeds, each enve- 
loped in a thin coat of acid astringent pulp ; but the tree is al- 
ways highly ornamental, with its rich glowing scarlet blossoms 
and handsome foliage. The large-leaved magnolia-like loquat 
is beautiful, whether laden with its pendent clusters of fragrant 
blossoms or their succeeding bright amber fruit. The mandarin 
orange is an elegant dwarf species, with fine, smooth, bitter fruit 
the size of an Orleans plum. The lemons grown in this colony 
resemble a Seville orange in their rough, deformed shape, al- 
though well flavoured. Huge bushes of the delicate oleander 
are very common, and how lovely 7 they are may well be imagined. 
Geraniums of the old-fashioned kinds are almost like weeds, but 
very few good varieties have reached the colony. 

That magnificent indigenous flower the gigantic lily (Doryan- 
thes excelsd) is often and easily cultivated in gardens, and well 
deserves a place in the stateliest. From the centre of an im- 
mense group of long, broad, curving leaves the flower-stalk rises 
to a height of fifteen or twenty feet, and of proportionate thick- 
ness, crowned with a great cluster of the gorgeous crimson lilies. 
It is, truly, a colossal flower.* 

Gardens in this neighbourhood might be small editions of 

* The following little poem, written for a juvenile work (not yet com- 
pleted), may perhaps be permitted a place here : — 


Who loves to cull gay flowers ? 

Come hither, all, to me ; 
I '11 show ye rare and strange ones, 

On grass and shrub and tree. 

Do ye love the modest lilies, 
Each shrouded in its leaf, 

And hanging down its gentle head 
As full of fear, or grief? 

I have 



[chap. XVI. 

Paradise, had they sufficient and regular moisture ; but the un- 
certainty of the seasons, and the impossibility (not to mention 
the expense) of supplying the deficiency by artificial means, 
render the most industrious and anxious attention to them a 
source of annoyance rather than pleasure. The want of water 
is a drawback of which no dweller in England can imagine the 
curse. I well remember my husband's admiration of our English 
rivers, brooks, and the little narrow, trickling lines of bright 
water that traverse our meadows and gardens ; and when I used 
to laugh at so much good enthusiasm being thrown away on a 
ditch, he would say, " Ah ! only wait until you have lived a few 
years in a dry country, and then you will better understand the 
inestimable value of such ditches /" 

I have a lily here, 

A nobler one than those ; 
The tulip may not vie with it, 

Nor the dahlia, nor the rose. 

Its long broad leaves are spread 

Down curving to the ground ; 
And I doubt if, as they grow, 

Four yards would span thern round. 

One stem from out the centre 

Of those bright leaves ascends ; 
As straight as is an arrow, 

It neither twists nor bends. 
Month after month it higher grew, 

We watched it day by day, 
Impatient to behold the flower 

In all its bright array. 

It grew above the cottage eaves, 

Full fifteen feet in height, 
Before one bud had shown a streak 

Of hidden treasure bright. 

At length our wondering eyes beheld 

The tall stem richly crowned 
With silken-petalled lilies, all 

In one bright cluster bound. 

But not the pale and timid flowers 

Of northern climes are these ; 
Not shrinking from the temp'rate sun, 

Nor trembling in the breeze. 

Choose ye between the two — 
And then I '11 truly tell 

If ye in lordly pride and pomp 
Or in happier love would dwell. 

In robe of regal hues they 're drest, 

And to our fervid sky 
With bold, unblenching gaze, is bent 

Each bright and glowing eye. 

They scorn to share with humbler 

Kind Nature's smile or tear, 
And proudly above all their kin 

Their crowned heads uprear. 
In lofty, solitary state 

They ope, and fade away ; 
Whilst far below, their scorned friends 

Dwell socially and gay. 

The bright pomegranate's smiles re- 
The oleander's blush, [fleet 

And roseate passion-flowers lend 
Pale clematis a flush. 

The twining indigo enwreaths 
Full many a gentle flower, 

That dwell together lovingly 
In some acacia bower. 

The humble and the lowly, all 

Contented, happy, gay, 
Laugh on, whilst in their lonely pomp 

The lilies fade away. 

But think — how grand they are ! 

How tall, and how arranged ! 
How far beyond those little bells 

That tremble in the shade ! 


Our whole and sole dependence whilst at Homebush for a 
supply of water on the estate consisted of two or three holes, like 
old clay-pits, which were about half filled during heavy rains, 
and as no shade was near them, very rapidly evaporated in warm 
weather. At these the cattle and horses drank, and we had a 
water-cart to convey the daily supply to the house ; but in the 
heats of summer these water-holes were completely dry, and then 
our unfortunate cattle and horses were driven three or four miles 
to another clay-pit, where we also sent the cart, with, of course, 
the constant fear lest, with so many claimants on its bounty (for 
all our neighbours were in as ill a plight as ourselves), even that 
source should fail us too. Some of our friends were at the same 
time sending five and eight miles for water, and such water ! I 
did indeed then bethink me of the English meadow ditches, and 
how luxurious a draught their fair bright streamlets would afford. 
And as I commiserated our poor cows and oxen, parching amidst 
dry, brittle hay, for it were absurd to call it grass, without a 
chance of slaking their thirst till their daily toilsome pilgrimage 
along the dusty road, I used to think of the deep shady rivers at 
home, where I have seen whole herds stand in the summer noons 
with the rippling water often meeting over their sleek backs, and 
green, juicy herbage nodding at them from the bank, and such a 
world of luxury around as made the heat seem but a means for 
its enjoyment. 

I would have all discontented grumblers in England, who 
growl alike at November fogs and April showers, and who always 
carry umbrellas by way of an implied reproach to the seasons of 
their native land — I would have all such sent to New South 
Wales ona" probation " system : let them enjoy sunshine, since 
they like it so much ; let them really luxuriate in a veritably " dry 
atmosphere " for a few years, and then see if their hydrophobia 
will not wonderfully abate ! 

When a winter rainy fit does assail the sky in this land of 
extremes, it certainly takes care to leave no doubt of its inten- 
tions, — for down comes such a thorough, right-earnest deluge, as 
not only washes away half your garden, but generally inundates 
the house, parched and warped as every part is by the previous 
baking process of the summer months. We enjoyed two visita- 
tions of this kind at Homebush, each of about a week's duration, 

160 SALT WELL— CLIMATE IN WINTER. [chap. xvi. 

and giving us the healthful advantage of an unexpected shower- 
bath in nearly every room. Every imaginable vessel was enlisted 
in the water-catching service ; the tide in the clay-pits rose se- 
veral feet, and our spirits in proportion ; but the old dry, exhaust- 
ing weather soon returned. 

A large well in- front of the house, which had been closed over, 
excited our curiosity, for although we were told the water in it 
was salt, still, at so considerable an elevation, this seemed impro- 
bable, and we opened the well. To describe the anxious excite- 
ment which pervaded the assembled household as the first bucket- 
fall was slowly drawn up, were impossible — perhaps Wilkie 
might have painted the scene, had he witnessed it : even our fa- 
vourite old pointer stood wagging his tail, and pretending to lick 
his thirsty lips, as he by turns looked down into the well or 
wistfully into my face : — the housemaid ran for a cup that " Missis 
might taste first," but I was compelled to confess that the sin- 
gular variety of unpleasant flavours the liquid combined left me 
quite in doubt whether it were salt or fresh.* Every one so ar- 
dently wished it fresh, that very daring anticipations were formed 
of the effect which the air might have on it, and various other 
possibilities ; but the experience of a week fully proved that our 
labour had been in vain. When poured into the trough, some of 
the pigs and one old horse used to drink the brackish water, but 
for aught else, save washing kitchen-floors, it was useless. The 
salt must have been derived from some saline beds in the soil, for 
the bottom of the well, though very deep, was far above the sea- 
level. Another half-closed well remained in one of the orchards, 
showing that every pains had been taken to find good water, but 
in vain. 

After all my own grumblings at the climate of Sydney, which 
my impaired health and languid frame proved to be not without 
reason, I must give its two months of winter unqualified lauda- 
tion, for then existence is no longer a burthen, nor walking 
exercise absolutely unpleasant. The early morning is often 

* Some years since, Mr. Meredith and an old servant, being out together on 
some expedition, were seeking fresh water near the coast, for themselves and 
their horses, and after vainly trying the qualities of many small pools, God- 
bold dismounted to test another, but instantly began spitting out the water 
again with a sad wry face. " Is that fresh ? " inquired my husband. "Fresh 
to me, Sir, for I never tasted any thing so bad before ! " 

chap, xvi.] SOCIETY— CONVERSATION. 161 

frosty, with a light white rime on the grass and a bracing sharp- 
ness in the air, making a bright fire veiy good company at break- 
fast-time. By nine o'clock the frost entirely vanishes, and a 
warm sun and clear Italian sky tempt us to desert the fire and 
sit by open windows, or ramble about without even an additional 
shawl over a light morning dress. Towards evening we begin 
to notice the darkness of the hearth, and a pile of blazing logs 
merrily lights up the dining-room. In some houses grates and 
Colonial coal are used as a luxury, but after being accustomed 
to a cheerful, broad, good humoured-looking hearth of logs, they 
seem to me very dull and sulky by comparison. The coal which 
I have hitherto seen used is less bright itself and emits less 
blaze than what we should term good coal in my native county 
of Warwick. It comes, very appropriately, from Newcastle, on 
the Hunter's River, a part of New South Wales I much wished 
to visit, and had a land-journey been easy, might perhaps have 
enjoyed the trip ; but to make a sea voyage, however short, for 
pleasure, is an anomalous proceeding I cannot comprehend. 

One great pleasure we enjoyed at this time, but have since 
been wholly deprived of, was that of having plenty of books, as 
we subscribed to the Australian Library in Sydney, and could 
send for a fresh supply once or twice a week. We did not 
obtain many new works of fiction, but of less fashionable litera- 
ture, as Biographies, History, Travels, &c, we had abundance. 
Neither were we by any means deficient in society, but, with a 
few memorable exceptions, I soon found that Colonial ladies 
seldom speak of aught besides dress, and domestic events and 
troubles, il bad servants " being the staple topic. And most 
gentlemen have their whole souls so felted up in wools, fleeces, 
flocks, and stock, that I have often sat through a weary dinner 
and evening of incessant talking, without hearing a single syl- 
lable on any other subject. Some of our friends had been among 
the early adventurers who made the perilous overland journeys to 
Adelaide, with large herds of cattle and sheep, and their narra- 
tives were always highly interesting, seeming like a romance, 
often a most sad one too — after the dull wool-gatherings of more 
every-day people. Far be it from me, in these slight remarks, 
to imply want of respect for the worthy enthusiasts in wool ; 
still there are times and places for everything. In English 


162 CONVERSATION— SERVANTS. [chap. xvi. 

society the lawyer does not carry his briefs and special pleadings 
into the drawing-room ; the physician dreams not of occupying 
the attention of a dinner-party with his last wonderful cure ; 
even the author refrains from volunteering a recitation of his 
new book ; and surely, according to our old-world notions of 
propriety, the wool-merchant also should sometimes divest him- 
self of the " shop," and not be always encompassed and engrossed 
by his bales and fleeces. However fascinating may be the com- 
pany of his " fine-woolled sheep " and peerless breed of Merinos, 
he should not insist on taking them out to dinner. I had to 
endure a perpetuity of mutton in the wool ; whilst choice 
" samples," tied and labelled with most fond accuracy, were 
passed from hand to hand, and contemplated with the profound 
and critical air of a connoisseur passing judgment on a master- 
piece of art. So long as the conversation conveyed intelligence 
respecting different parts of the Colony, as connected with sheep- 
farming or other occupations, I could derive amusement and 
knowledge from it, but the eternity of wool, wool, wool — wearied 
my very soul. Perhaps some excuse is admissible for this un- 
social style of conversation in Colonial gentlemen, from the 
rarity of Colonial ladies who are disposed to take a part in any 
topic under discussion, and many, though not disposed or qualified 
to express an opinion on general subjects, would feel insulted if 
you asked their advice how to make butter or cure a ham ; thus 
rendering it difficult to know what they would like to talk about 
when the servant-stories are exhausted, which usually prove 
lengthy and very circumstantial. 

I alluded to " bad servants" as being a constant source of 
complaint amongst my friends, and I am well aware that in most 
families the relative comfort or discomfort may pretty nearly 
be proportioned to the scarcity or number of servant-women in 
the establishment. Free women usually demand such exorbitant 
wages, and are here such apt illustrations of the proverb, " Evil 
communications corrupt good manners," that the generality of 
married persons apply for prisoner- women to be assigned to their 
service. Among these, a few prove willing, good servants, some 
tolerable, many very middling, and the largest portion totally 
unfit for a respectable place, not only from their inability to do 
good, but from their inherent propensities to do evil, every 

chap, xvi.] CHARACTER OF SERVANTS. 163 

shape of vice and depravity seeming as familiar to them as the 
air they breathe. We were fortunate in having two decent 
emigrant families, the men as head farm-servants, and their 
wives and one daughter as cook, dairy-woman, and housemaid ; 
being honest, sober, valuable servants, I was thus spared much 
of the annoyance suffered by others. I certainly had one very 
bad specimen in an old nurse, and who, although free at the 
time of her being recommended to me, had been doubly con- 
victed formerly, and at the end of her five days' sojourn carried 
off with her several articles of value ; for at that time I had not 
become accustomed to the vigilant care of my locks and keys, 
which is imperatively necessary here, and was, to me, extremely 
difficult to acquire. Having in various instances purchased 
experience somewhat dearly, I have since made considerable 
progress in this essential and troublesome accomplishment, 
and now as systematically lock my drawers, work-box, and 
other similar temptations, as if they were caskets of untold 

Wine or strong liquor of any kind is never safely left accessible 
to servants. The unlimited allowance of good beer common in 
English households is here scarcely credited, nor could such a 
custom be practised, for not a soul on the establishment would 
quit the barrel so long as any liquor remained in it. Tea, at 
every meal, is the Colonial kitchen beverage, with a good allow- 
ance of Cape wine on extraordinary occasions ; but the quantity 
of meat eaten at least thrice a day may well compensate for 
the loss of beer. The fryingpan is in perpetual requisition, 
and seems to have scarcely time to cool between its performances ; 
that, and a small iron pot in which the tea and coarse sugar are 
boiled together, form the sole cooking utensils of many a 
labourer's household : his bread is " damper," baked in the ashes, 
and varied occasionally by a " fat cake" done in the fryingpan, 
vegetables being rarely cared about. In stock-keepers' huts, and 
others where candles are not attainable, a light is procured by 
a bit of rag rolled up, stuck into an old cup or pannican full of 
dripping, and lighted. Home-made mould candles are generally 
used in houses where wax-lights are dispensed with, and cer- 
tainly vary more in quality than any other article of domestic 
manufacture ; but nothing beyond common care and attention is 

104 EMBARK FOR VAN DIEMEN'S LAND. [chap. xvr. 

required to make them equally good with those sold by English 

Various circumstances having combined to determine us on 
quitting New South Wales, and permanently settling in Van 
Diemen's Land, we prepared for our removal thither, and in 
October, 1840, again returned to Sydney for a few days, which, 
as if to confirm my dislike of the place, and increase my joy at 
quitting it, were the most disagreeable I had ever passed there. 
The heat, even at that early period, was most oppressive, and 
the detestable mosquitoes (with their horrible allies) besieged us 
in swarms, cruelly tormenting my poor child, whose chubby face 
and fair fat arms were covered with their mountainous bites, 
despite of all my care and contrivances. 

We embarked in a lumbering Colonial-built vessel named 
the Sir George Arthur (since wrecked off Bermuda), and once 
more passing the beautiful coves and bays of Port Jackson, 
sailed forth through its mighty gates on our way to a new home 
in Tasmania. 


London : Printed by William Clowes and Sons, Stamford Street. 











London : Printed by William Clowes and Sons, Stamford Street. 

( iii ) 



&c. &c. &c. 





( iv ) 

The first Edition of the < Life of Sir Francis Drake ' being out of print, 
the work has been carefully revised ; and also considerably abridged, in 
order that it might appear as one of the Numbers of the ' Colonial and 
Home Library.' 


The reasons which have induced me to submit the following 
pages to the public may be briefly stated. 

The Life of Drake, written by Dr. Johnson, is interesting in no 
common degree ; and in it are happily blended a vivid narrative 
of adventure with lofty and valuable moral precepts : but it is 
altogether incomplete ; the great moralist having terminated his 
narrative somewhat abruptly at the conclusion of the Circum- 
navigation Voyage ; and leaving untold all the important events 
of Drake's subsequent life. 

Dr. Southey's memoir, given in the third volume of his * Lives 
of the British Admirals,' is much more complete ; and evinces 
great research : but it forms part of a voluminous work ; from 
the very nature of which many subjects, not immediately con- 
nected with Drake, are blended with the details of his life. 

It appeared to me, therefore, that a Life of the celebrated 
circumnavigator, more extended than that of Dr. Johnson and 
unencumbered with other biographies, might be acceptable to the 
public : the more especially as there was reason to believe that 
much valuable matter, illustrative of his career, remained unex- 
plored in the public depositories of the kingdom, and in private 
collections. I accordingly applied my best diligence to the task : 
and I do not think that I overrate the result of my labour when 
I state, that many of the original documents never before pub- 
lished which are given in the following pages will be found in no 
common degree interesting and important. 


By the kindness of Sir James Graham, I received ready per- 
mission to investigate the documents in the State Paper Office ; 
where I felt assured that much important matter would be found. 
From this source, as well as from the numerous collections of 
manuscripts in the British Museum, I obtained copies of many 
autograph letters, not only of Sir Francis Drake, but also of the 
Lord High Admiral, the Earl of Effingham ; several of them 
relating to the Spanish Armada, miscalled ' the Invincible ;' 
together with many other documents connected with the public 
transactions of Sir Francis Drake. 

In going through these collections I received great assistance 
from Sir Henry Ellis, Mr. Lechmere, and Mr. Lemon ; for which 
my best thanks are due to them : as they are also to Mr. Thorpe ; 
who most obligingly took the trouble to collate my copies with 
the almost illegible manuscripts. 

I next applied to Sir Francis Palgrave, with reference to the 
records in the Tower ; but was informed by him that there is 
nothing among the Admiralty Papers so early as the reign of 
Elizabeth. Sir Francis Palgrave thinks it probable that in the 
Rolls-House there may be Accounts connected with the subject ; 
but says that the search would be laborious, as there are no 

The answer which I received from the Bodleian Library was, 
that " the collection contained nothing new to interest a bio- 
grapher of Sir Francis Drake." 

In the Ashmolean Museum there are only a few notices ; and 
these have already appeared in print. 

At Magdalen College, Cambridge, there are numerous and 
voluminous documents collected or composed by Mr. Pepys, 
chiefly relating to naval matters ; but little or nothing concern- 
ing Drake. 

To Mr. Bolton Corney, a gentleman of great literary acquire- 
ments and research, I am highly indebted for the loan of several 
valuable and rare tracts, besides detached notes of information 
on points connected with my subject ; and I am the more anxious 


thus publicly to offer him my thanks, in consequence of the ready 
and willing manner in which they were communicated. 

There is still, however, a great deficiency of materials regarding 
the private and domestic life of Drake ; and as the family may 
be considered extinct, or at least only continued in the female 
line, there is but little hope that any such will be forthcoming. 

I did not omit to apply in every quarter where there was 
the slightest chance of obtaining any information ; and especially 
to Sir Thomas Trayton Fuller Eliott Drake, Bart., the nephew 
of the late Lord Heathfield, to whose property he has succeeded ; 
and who has also, under a Royal patent, taken the names of 
Eliott and Drake, after that of Fuller, as well as the arms of 
Drake. His reply was that he had nothing whatever, except 
some relics that were given to Drake by Queen Elizabeth, an 
account of which had already been published ; but at the same 
time, in the most obliging manner, expressed his willingness to 
place the whole of these in my hands. 

As Sir Francis Drake was much in communication with the 
Lord Treasurer Burleigh, and had frequent correspondence with 
him, I applied, through a friend, to the Marquis of Salisbury ; 
requesting to be permitted to have access to the Burleigh Papers, 
at Hatfield House ; or at least to be informed what was the nature 
and extent of the documents they contained relating to Drake. 
The reply was, that it would be a long time before the catalogue 
was finished ; and that his Lordship must decline to let any person 
have unlimited access to the papers : but that as soon as they 
were completely arranged, I should be informed how far he could 
contribute to my object. 

I applied also to the Marquis of Exeter, as it appeared pro- 
bable that he might be in possession of papers connected 
with Drake or his family. His Lordship's reply was, that he had 
sent all his papers to Lord Salisbury. Thus, then, these memo- 
rials, whatever they may be, remain, after the lapse of two 
centuries and a half, still inaccessible. 

In transcribing the autograph letters of the Lord High Admiral 


and of Sir Francis Drake, I have rigidly adhered to the originals ; 
even to the spelling, although the same words are frequently 
written differently, at different times, and even in the same letter. 
Subjoined is a list of the principal authors, many of them the 
contemporaries of Drake, upon whose authority I have framed 
my account of his life. * In very many instances I have tran- 
scribed their original words. It would have been easy for me to 
have remodelled these passages, and to have given their sub- 
stance in a modern garb ; and the narrative would have had a less 
disjointed appearance had I done so. But I felt that any change 
in their phraseology — any departure from their quaint and 
forcible mode of expression — must detract, not only from the 
interest of the details which they give, but in some degree also 
from the validity of their statements. This conviction out- 
weighed with me all minor considerations. 



Lediard. — As also, 



Rymer's Fcedera 



Birch's Tracts 



Lord Somers' Tracts 



World Encompassed 



Drake Revived, &c. 

( i* ) 






The parentage and early life of Francis Drake — His Sea-education — 
Voyage to the West Indies with his friend Captain John Hawkins — 
Treachery of the Spaniards and Disasters in that Voyage — Narrative 
of Miles Philips — Letter from Hawkins to Cecil — Narrative of Job 
Horton ........... 1 



State of England and Spain — Revised Relation of this Voyage by 
Drake himself— Arrive at Port Pheasant — Symerons — Transactions 
at Nombre de Dios — The Treasury and Governor's house— Drake 
wounded — Return to their ships at the Isle of Pinos — Cartagena — 
Capture a great ship of Seville— Drake destroys his own ship the 
Swan — Takes several vessels — Arrives at Port Plenty— Drake leaps 
on shore at Cartagena — John Drake slain — Sickness in the crew — 
Death of Joseph Drake — Attempt to reach Panama by land — Dis- 
appointment — Drake is led to a great tree — Discovers the South Sea, 
and makes a solemn vow — Vasco de Balboa — Returns to England — 
Sir Wm, Davenant's Drama . . . . . . .15 



Preliminary Observations — Drake's Services in Ireland — He is patron- 
ised by the Queen — Expensive preparations for the Voyage — Secrecy 
as to its destination — The cause of a rival enterprise — Oxenham's dis- 
astrous voyage and death — Drake's squadron — Captures made by it — 
Misconduct of Doughty — Patagonians — Arrival at St. Julian— Trial 
and execution of Doughty — Passage through the Strait of Magelhaens 
— Driven down to Cape Horn — Passage up the North Pacific — 

Numerous captures of Treasure . 34 







Drake proceeds to the Northward — A North- East Passage round Ame- 
rica suggested — Intense cold — Interview with the natives of the West 
Coast of North America — Drake takes possession of New Albion in 
the Queen's name — Crosses the Pacific to the Moluccas — Calls at 
Java — Voyage home 59 



Drake is well received at Plymouth — Neglected in London, and at the 
Court— Restored to the favour of the Queen, who visits his ship at 
Deptford — Confers Knighthood on him — Honours paid to the ship — 
Amount of Treasure brought home .72 

drake's voyage to the west indies. 

Drake receives command of a squadron — Sir Philip Sydney— The squa- 
dron and troops employed — Land on the island of St. J ago — Attack on 
St. Domingo, and on Cartagena — Sickness in the fleet — The intention 
of taking Nombre de Dios, and entering the Isthmus, abandoned — 
Destroy St. Augustine— Return homewards — Call at Virginia — Bring 
away the Governor and Colonists, who abandon the Colony — Introduc- 
tion of Tobacco 82 



Designs of Philip — Insolence of the Spanish Ambassador— Drake ap- 
pointed to command an expedition — Letter of Sir F. Drake — Arrives 
at Cadiz ; burns, sinks, and carries away about 100 sail of ships — 
Dispatches Captain Crosse with letters — Leaves Cadiz — Destroys a 
number of ships in the Tagus — Drake stands over to Terceira, and 
captures a large and rich carrack— Case of Captain Burroughs . 96 






Pretence of treating for peace — Unworthy conduct of Spain — Predic- 
tions of triumph — Naval and Military forces — Lord High Admiral 
puts to sea — Correspondence of Lord C. Howard and Sir F. Drake 
with the Queen, Sir Francis Walsingham, and Lords of the Council 113 




The Armada in the Channel — Anecdote of Drake — First attack — Spa- 
nish MS. Journal — Daily proceedings of the two fleets— The Armada 
is dispersed by fire-ships — Driven into the North Sea — Its disastrous 
condition — Letters from the Lord High Admiral, Sir Francis Drake, 
and Lord Henry Seymour . . . . . . .127 




Summary of the Spanish losses — Libels of the late Spanish Ambassa- 
dor on the British Officers — Drake's reply — Public thanksgiving — 
Queen's procession to St. Paul's — Letters of the Lord High Admiral 
and Sir Francis Drake, relative to the late invasion — The fleet is 
paid off ... 143 




Reasons for attacking Spain— Petition of Don Antonio, a candidate for 
the Crown of Portugal— Sir F. Drake and Sir J. Norris appointed to 
command the Expedition — Letters of Sir J. Norris and Sir F. Drake 
to Lord Burleigh — Attack on Corunna— Gallant conduct of a Female 
— Description of the attack by Norris and by Drake— Essex joins 
them — Arrival at Peniche — Norris marches for Lisbon — Drake sails 
for Cascais — Proceedings before Lisbon — Proceedings at Cascais — 
Embark at Cascais— The fleet is dispersed in a Storm — Arrive at 
Plymouth— Case of Lord Essex 151 





Letter of Drake to Prince Henry de Bourbon, and his reply — A fleet 
fitted out under Drake and Hawkins — Its object — Attack on the 
Grand Canaria fails — The fleet separates in a storm — Meet at Gua- 
daloupe — Death of Hawkins — Sir F. Clifford and Master Browne 
killed by shot from the forts — Unsuccessful attack by the pinnaces of 
the squadron — La Hacha, Rancheria, Santa Martha, and Nombre de 
Dios taken — Attempt to reach Panama fails — Death of Drake — Re- 
turn of Expedition — Character of Drake by Fuller, Stow, and others 
— Review of his Career . . . . . . . 167 







The parentage and early life of Francis Drake — His sea-education — Voyage 
to the West Indies with his friend Captain John Hawkins — Treachery of 
the Spaniards and disasters in that voyage — Narrative of Miles Philips — 
Letter from Hawkins to Cecil — Narrative of Job Horton. 

Among the number of distinguished characters which the reign 
of Queen Elizabeth produced, the name of Sir Francis Drake 
must always hold a prominent place. Born of humble parents, 
and thrown upon the world, in early youth, as a common sea- 
man, by honest industry, by perseverance and resolution in over- 
coming difficulties, and by unflinching courage, he gradually 
rose to the highest rank in the Naval Service, and to the honour 
of knighthood bestowed by the Sovereign ; an honour which, 
in that illustrious reign, was the reward of distinguished merit 

" This Drake," says Camden, " (to relate no more than what I have heard 
from himself) was born of mean parentage in Devonshire, and had Francis 
Russell (afterwards Earl of Bedford) for his godfather, who, according to 
the custom, gave him his Christian name. Whilst he was yet a child, his 
father, Edmund Drake, embracing the Protestant doctrine, was called in 
question by the law of the Six Articles made by Henry VIII. against the 
Protestants, fled his country, and withdrew himself into Kent" — "for,"' says 
Prince, in his ' Worthies of Devon,' " the sting of Popery still remained in 
England, though the teeth thereof were knocked out, and the Pope's supre- 
macy abolished." 


Sir Francis Drake (the nephew) says, in the dedication to the 
' Voyage Revived,' 

" Honest reader, without apologie, I desire thee in this insuing discourse 
to observe with me the power and justice of the Lord of Hostes, who could 
enable so meane a person to right himself upon so mighty a prince, together 
with the goodness and providence of God, very observable, in that it pleased 
him to raise this man, not only from a low condition, but even from the state 
of persecution ; his father suffered in it, being forced to fly from his house 
(neere South Tavistocke in Devon) into Kent, and there to inhabit in the 
hull of a shippe, wherein many of his younger sonnes were born ; hee had 
twelve in all, and as it pleased God to give most of them a being upon the 
water, so the greatest part of them dyed at sea ; the youngest, though he 
were as far as any, yet dyed at home, whose posterity inherits that which by 
himself, and this noble gentleman the eldest brother, was hardly, yet worthily 

" After the death of King Henry," continues Camden, " he (the father) 
got a place among the seamen in the King's Navy, to read prayers to them ; 
and soon after he was ordained Deacon, and made Vicar of the Church of 
Upnore upon the river Medway (the road where the fleet usually anchoreth). 
But by reason of his poverty he put his son to the master of a bark, with 
which he used to coast along the shore, and sometimes to carry merchandise 
into Zeland and France. 

" The youth, being painful and diligent, so pleased the old man by his in- 
dustry, that, being a bachelor, at his death he bequeathed his bark unto him 
by will and testament." 

The account thus given by Camden, one of the ablest and 
most faithful of our old historians, and coming as it does from 
Drake himself, must be considered as settling the question of 
his parentage ; and disproving the story of his father Edmund 
being merely a sailor. 

What indeed could a sailor have to do with the Six Articles, 
to make it necessary for him to fly his country? It is more 
probable that he was one of those who bore the title of Preacher 
or Minister, and had received holy orders, but was without 
church preferment, and engaged in giving instruction to the 
neighbouring people, and reading prayers to them. Be that as 
it may, he must have been a well-educated man, if it be true 
that he was ordained Deacon, and inducted to the vicarage of 
Upnore, on the river Medway. 

The cottage on the banks of the Tavy, in which Drake was 
born, remained unaltered until about thirty years ago. It was 
then demolished, and a stall for cattle now stands upon its site. 


chap, i.] TO THE WEST INDIES. 3 

The date of his birth is uncertain. There is an original portrait 
of him in Buckland Abbey, painted Anno Domini 1594; 
atatis sues 53 : according to this he must have been born in 
1541 : but there is also a beautiful miniature portrait by Hil- 
liard, sold lately at Strawberry Hill, and now in possession of 
the Earl of Derby, under which is written Atatis suce 42 ; 
Anno Dom. 1581 : which gives 1539 for the date of his birth. 
There is a doubt also as to the name of his father, which appears 
by the pedigree to have been Robert, and not Edmund, the third 
son of John Drake of Otterton. 

For some time young Drake continued to carry on the same 
business as his master had done. But the narrow seas were 
too confined a space for so large and aspiring a mind. He there- 
fore sold his bark, and by the advice of Captain John Hawkins, 
a bold and adventurous seaman (who is called his kinsman), was 
induced to try his fortune with him on a venture to the West 
Indies, in which he embarked the whole of his little property. 

Captain John Hawkins had previously made two voyages to 
Guinea and the West Indies, purchasing Negro slaves at the 
first place, and selling them to the Spaniards at the latter ; — a 
trade that was then carried on by virtue of a treaty, still sub- 
sisting, between Henry VIII. and Charles V. So far was this 
traffic from being considered infamous, that every encouragement 
was given to it by Queen Elizabeth ; who took Hawkins into her 
service, made him Paymaster of the Navy, and as a mark of her 
favour gave him a coat of arms, the crest of which was a demi- 
moor, properly coloured, bound by a cord, — the very emblem 
which has since been used to stamp with infamy this inhuman 

That the adventurous spirit of Drake should have induced him 
cheerfully to join a man who had always been kind to him, and 
who was engaged in large mercantile concerns, on a voyage to 
the West Indies, cannot be wondered at. 

Nothing," says Dr. Johnson, " was talked of among the mercantile or 
adventurous part of mankind but the beauty and riches of this new world. 
Fresh discoveries were frequently made, new countries and nations, never 
heard of before, were daily described ; and it may easily be concluded that 
the relators did not diminish the merit of their attempts, by suppressing or 
diminishing any circumstance that might produce wonder or excite cu- 

B 2 


Drake was already acquainted, but to what extent we know 
not, with the West Indies and the coast of the Caribbean Sea ; 
for in the Preface to the Voyage (called his Third), revised, as 
we shall see, by Drake himself, and published by his nephew, he 
speaks of the wrong he suffered with Captain John Lovell, in the 
years 1565 and 1566, at Rio da Hacha. Of this voyage no par- 
ticulars appear to have been at any time published ; it was no 
doubt based on mercantile speculation ; and perhaps among other 
things, in the traffic for slaves, as an outward-bound cargo : and 
doubtless the knowledge he then acquired was of important advan- 
tage to Captain Hawkins in his present undertaking. 

The expedition consisted of one of the Queen's ships, which, 
as the strongest proof of her approbation of the voyage, she lent 
to Hawkins. It was called the Jesus of Lubeck, and was of 
700 tons burden. It was commanded by Hawkins as Admiral — 
or General ; the latter being the title given in those days to the 
commander of a naval expedition. To the Jesus was added the 
Minion, Captain John Hampton; the William and John, Captain 
Thomas Bolton ; and the Judith, Captain Francis Drake, he being 
then, as it is stated, in the t\y;enty r third year of his age, or, if the 
inscription on the Buckland Abbey picture be correct, in his 
twenty-sixth. There were besides two other very small vessels, 
the Angel and the Swallow. 

On the 2nd of October, 1567, they set sail from Plymouth, 
but met with a violent storm off Cape Finisterre, which lasted 
four days : the ships separated, the boats were all lost, and the 
Jesus suffered so much as to be nearly disabled. The storm 
ceasing, however, they were enabled to re-assemble the ships 
and to pursue their course; and having reached the Cape 
de Verde, Hawkins landed about 150 of his men, in the hope 
of obtaining a supply of negroes. Here, however, they got but 
few, and those with great hurt and damage to their men, 
chiefly caused by the envenomed arrows of the negroes : and 

" although," says Hakluyt, " in the beginning they seemed to be but small 
hurts, yet there hardly escaped any, that had blood drawn of them, but died 
in strange sort, with their mouthes shutte some tenne dayes before they died, 
and after their wounds were whole ;" " when I myself," says Hawkins, '• had 
one of the greatest wounds, yet, thanks be to God, escaped." 

They next proceeded down the coast of Guinea, and after 


many difficulties, and the loss of several men, they succeeded in 
obtaining about 200 negro slaves more ; and departed with this 
cargo of human beings on their voyage for the Spanish Islands 
of the West Indies, to sell them to the Spaniards, as Hawkins 
had done before, under tlie conditions of the treaty above men- 

Hawkins, however, before he proceeded with his cargo to the 
West Indies, went farther down the coast to St. Jorge da Mina, 
where he was to obtain gold for his merchandise, fitted, no doubt, 
for the slave-market. At this place a negro king came to ask 
his assistance against a neighbouring king, promising him all the 
negroes that should be taken. An offer so tempting was not to 
be rejected ; and 150 men were selected and sent to assist this 
black warrior. They assaulted a town containing 8000 inha- 
bitants, strongly paled round, and fenced after their manner, and 
so well defended that Hawkins' people had six slain and forty 
wounded. More help was called for : 

v f 1 Whereupon," says Hawkins, " considering that the good success of this 
enterprise might highly further the commodity of our voyage, I went myself; 
aW with the help of the king of our side, assaulted the town both by land 
and sea ; and very hai'dly, with fire (their houses being covered with palm- 
leaves), obtained the town and put the inhabitants to flight ; where we took 
250 persons, men, women, and children ; and by our friend, the king on our 
side, there were taken 600 prisoners, whereof we hoped to have our choice ; 
but the negro (in which nation is never or seldom found truth) meant nothing 
less ; for that night he removed his camp and prisoners, so that we were fain 
to content us with those few that we had gotten ourselves." 

On the 27th of March they came in sight of Dominica, coasted 
Margarita, Cape de la Vela, and other places, " carrying on, and 
without obstruction, a tolerable good trade," that is, of course, 
selling their negroes for silver. But at Rio da Hacha all com- 
merce with the inhabitants was strictly prohibited. Hawkins, 
deeming this to be an infraction of the treaty, and an unauthorized 
and illegal proceeding, determined to attack the place : and having 
landed 200 men, the town was taken by storm with the loss of 
two men only ; and no hurt is said to have been done to the Spa- 
niards ; because, after their volley was discharged, they all fled. 
They soon, however, returned ; and then secret trade was carried 
on during the night ; and the Spaniards bought 200 negroes ; and 
at all other places the inhabitants traded willingly. 


In proceeding from hence toward Cartagena they were caught 
in a terrible storm ; which continued four days, and so shattered 
the Jesus, that they cut down her upper works : her rudder was 
also shaken, and she sprang a leak. Proceeding toward Florida, 
they encountered another storm ; and were driven into the bay of 
Mexico, and entered into the port of San Juan d'Ulloa : in 
searching for which they took on their way three ships, which 
carried passengers to the number of one hundred. 

" I found in this port," says Hawkins, " twelve ships, which had in them 
by report, 200,000/. in gold and silver ; all which being in my possession, 
with the King's Island, and also the passengers, before in my way thither- 
ward stayed, I set at liberty without taking from them the weight of a groat." 

The Spaniards mistook the English ships for a fleet from Spain, 
which was daily expected ; and the chief officers came on board ; 
but being soon undeceived, were in great alarm : when, how- 
ever, they found that victuals only were demanded, they took 
courage and furnished them in abundance. 

To prevent any misunderstanding, Hawkins sent to Mexico, 
representing to the viceroy that he had put into this port in 
consequence of stress of weather ; that he was in want of victuals, 
and his ships in great need of repair ; and, as Englishmen and 
friends to Spain, he requested that they might be supplied with 
what they wanted, on proper payment being made. 

" On the morrow," says Hawkins, " we saw open of the haven thirteen 
great ships, and understanding them to be the fleet of Spain, I sent imme- 
diately to advertise the general of the fleet of my being there ; giving him to 
understand, that before I would suffer them to enter the port, there should 
be some order of conditions pass between us, for our safe-being there, and 
maintenance of peace." 

It is not easy to comprehend how a commander of three 
ships, two of them of no strength, should presume to dic- 
tate to thirteen great ships, not to mention the twelve others 
already in port, and that port belonging to the Spaniards, 
and guarded by a battery of brass guns ; or that he should be 
bold enough to talk of making conditions, before he would 
suffer them to enter their own harbour. It marks the wide 
difference between an English sea commander and a Spanish 
one, in those days, as indeed in many subsequent periods. 

Hawkins, however, felt that he had gone too far, and that his 
audacity was likely to get him into a scrape : 

chap, i.] TO THE WEST INDIES. 7 

" And here," he says, " I began to bewail that which after followed, for 
now, said I, I am in two dangers, and forced to receive the one of them. 
That was, either I must have kept out the iJeet from entering the port, the 
which with God's help I was able to do, or else sufier them to enter in with 
their accustomed treason, which they never fail to execute, where they may 
have opportunitie to compass it by any means ; if I bad kept them out, then 
had there been present shipwreck of all the fleet, which amounted in value 
to six millions, which was, in value of our money, 1,800,000/., which I con- 
sidered I was not able to answer, fearing the Queen's Majesty's indignation 
in so weighty a matter. Thus with myself revolving the doubts, I thought 
rather better to abide the jutt of the uncertainty than the certainty ; the un- 
certain doubt, I account, was their treason, which, by good policy, I hoped 
might be prevented ; and therefore, as choosing tbe least mischief, I pro- 
ceeded to conditions." 

The fact was, as he more clearly admits in another place, that 
besides the risk he ran of an unequal combat, he was afraid to 
take upon himself the responsibility of plundering from the 
king of Spain so immense a sum of money, which could not 
fail to bring her Majesty into collision with that sovereign. 

The General therefore resolved not to commit any act of hos- 
tility, nor do anything that could be construed into a breach of 
the treaty. All that he required of the Spaniards was the assur- 
ance of security for himself and his people, and all that belonged 
to him ; that provisions should be supplied to them for money, 
and that they should have liberty to trade : moreover that, 
during his abode there, he should keep possession of the island 
and the eleven pieces of brass cannon that were planted upon it. 

In the fleet was a new viceroy from Mexico, Don Martin Hen- 
riquez ; who, although he disliked these conditions and made some 
demur, at last agreed to them, and gave a writing to that effect 
signed and sealed by himself; each party giving and exchanging 
ten hostages for the due performance of the stipulations. 

" At the end of three days," says Hawkins, " the Spanish fieete entered 
the port, the ships saluting one another, as the manner of the sea doth re- 
quire ; the morrow after, being Friday, we laboured on all sides, in placing 
the English ships by themselves, and the Spanish ships by themselves, the 
captains and inferior persons of either part offering and showing great cour- 
tesie one to another, and promising great amitie on all sides." 

This amity on the part of the Spaniards was, however, soon 
discovered to be fallacious : they were observed to be placing 
additional guns on the fortifications of the island, and increasing 


the crews of their ships. The viceroy sanctioned this treachery, 
inasmuch as he took no steps to prevent it ; although he assured 
Hawkins that " he would be their defence against all villainies." 
As the master of the Jesus spoke Spanish, Hawkins sent him 
to the viceroy to inquire if his suspicions were correct : im- 
mediately the master was seized, the trumpet sounded, the Eng- 
lish were taken by surprise, and the Spaniards most perfidiously 
falling upon them, killed a great number of men, seized, plun- 
dered, and burnt three of their ships, made their crews prisoners, 
and obliged the remainder, in the smaller ships, to retreat with- 
out provisions, and in so miserable a plight, that scarcely a sixth 
part survived to reach England. 

The English, however, did not come away wholly unre- 
venged ; 

" For," says Hawkins, " no sooner were the Jesus and the Minion got 
about two ships' length from the Spanish fleet, than the fight began to be so 
warm on all sides, that, in less than an hour, the Spanish Admiral was sup- 
posed to be sunk, the Vice- Admiral burnt, and another of their chief ships 
believed to be sunk, so that their ships were little able to annoy us." 

The cannon on the island being now in possession of the 
Spaniards, they turned them upon the English, and the masts, 
yards, and rigging of the Jesus were soon so shattered that no 
hopes were left of carrying her off: it was with these cannon, 
also, that the small ships of the English were destroyed. The 
English then resolved to place the Jesus between the fort and 
the Minion, and at night to tranship all the provisions and 
necessaries from the former into the latter, and to leave the 
Jesus behind. But the Spaniards set fire to two of their large 
ships, and let them drive down upon those of the English. 

" Upon this," says Hawkins, " the men on board the Minion, without either 
the captain's or master's consent, set sail in such a hurry and confusion, that 
it was not without great difficulty I was received on board." 

Miles Philips, one of the unfortunate men who had been put 
on shore, gives a more detailed account. He says, 

" The Minion, which had somewhat before prepared herself to avoid the 
danger, hauled away, and abode the first brunt of the 300 men that were in 
the great hulke ; then they sought to fall on board the Jesus, where was a 
cruel fight, and many of our men slain ; but yet our men defended them- 
selves and kept them out ; for the Jesus also got loose, and joyning with the 

chap, i.] TO THE WEST INDIES. 9 

Minion, the fight waxed hote upon all sides ; but they having won and got 
our ordinance did greatly annoy us. In this fighte there were two great 
shippes of the Spaniards sunke, and one burnte, so that with their shippes 
they were not able to harme us, but from the shore they beat us cruelly with 
our own ordinance in such sort that the Jesus was very sore spoyled, and 
suddenly the Spaniards, having fired two great shippes of their owne, they 
came directly against us, which bred among our men a marvellous feare. 
Howbeit the Minion, which had made her sayles ready, shifted for herself, 
without consent of the Generall, captaine, or master, so that very hardly our 
Generall could be received into the Minion, and those which the small boat 
was not able to receive were most cruelly slain by the Spaniardes. 

" Of our shippes none escaped saving the Minion and the Judith ; and all 
such of our men as were not in them were inforced to abide the tyrannous 
cruelty of the Spaniards. For it is a certain trueth, that whereas they had 
taken certaine of our men ashore, they took and hung them up by the armes, 
upon high postes, until the blood burst out of their fingers' ends : of which 
men so used, there is one Copston and certaine others yet alive, who by the 
merciful providence of the Almighty were long since arrived here in 
England, carrying still about with them (and shall go to their graves) the 
marks and tokens of those their inhuman and more than barbarous cruell 
dealings." * 

Thus the Minion, with only one small bark of fifty tons, the 
Judith (Drake's ship), escaped the treachery of the Spaniards : 

" But," says Hawkins, " the same night the Judith likewise forsook us. 
We were now left alone, with only two anchors and two cables, our ship so 
damaged that it was as much as we could do to keep her above water, and a 
great number of us with very little provisions. We were besides divided in 
opinion what to do. Some were for yielding to the Spaniards, others chose 
rather to submit to the merc^of the savages ; and again, others thought it 
more eligible to keep the sea, though with so scanty an allowance of victualls 
as would hardly suffice to keep us alive. 

" In this miserable plight we ranged an unknown sea for fourteen days, 
till extreme famine obliged us to seek for land. So great was our misery 
that hides were reckoned good food ; rats, cats, mice, and dogs, none escaped 
us that we could lay our hands on ; parrots and monkeys were our dainties. 
In this condition we came to land on the 8th of October, at the bottom of the 
bay of Mexico, where we hoped to have found inhabitants of the Spaniards, 
reliefe of victuals, and a proper place to repair our ship. But we found 
every thing just contrary to our expectation ; neither inhabitants, nor pro- 
visions, nor a haven for the repair of our ship. Many of our men, never- 
theless, being worn out with hunger, desired to be set on shore, to which I 
consented ; and such as were willing to land I put them apart, and such as 
were desirous to go homewards I put apart ; so that they were indifferently 

* Narrative of Miles Philips, given by Hakluyt. 


posted, a hundred on one side, and a hundred on the other side. These 
hundred men we set a-land with all diligence in this little place, before said, 
which being landed, we determined there to take in fresh water, and so with 
our little remains of victuals to take the sea. 

" Of about two hundred souls which we then were, one hundred chose to 
seek their fortune on land, on which they were set with great difficulty ; and 
with the remainder, after having watered, I again submitted to the mercy of 
the seas, and set sail on the 16th of October." 

Hawkins himself and his companions were first endangered by 
a vehement storm ; after that, by famine : many of his men died ; 
and the rest, from weakness, being unable to manage the ship, 
entered Ponte Yedra, near Vigo, to obtain fresh meat : there also 
many of them died ; and, for fear of being a second time be- 
trayed by the Spaniards, he again put to sea, and arrived in 
England on the 25th of January, 156|-. 

" If," says Hawkins, in concluding his narrative, " all the miseries and 
troubles of this melancholy voyage were to be completely and thoroughly 
written, it would require a laborious man with his pen, and as much time as 
the author had, who wrote the lives and deaths of the Martyrs." 

The following is a copy of a letter in the State Paper Office, 
from Hawkins, announcing his arrival in England from this 
disastrous voyage : — 

25th January 1568. 
Right Honorable, my dewty most humbly consydered : yt 
may please your honor to be advertysed that the 25th day of Januarii 
(thanks be to God) we aryved in a place in fJornewall called Mounts bay, 
onelie with the Minyon which is left us of allow {let, & because I wold not 
in my letters be prolyxe, after what maner we came to our dysgrace, I have 
sent your honor here inclosed some part of the circumstance, and althoughe 
not all our meseryes that hath past yet the greatest matters worthye of 
notynge, but yf I shold wryt of all our calamytyes I am seure a volome as 
great as the byble wyll scarcelie suffyce: all which thyngs I most humblie 
beseeche your honour to advertyse the Queen's Majestie & the rest of the 
counsell (soch as you shall thinke mette). 

Our voiage was, although very hardly, well acheived & brought to reson- 
able passe, but now a great part of our treasure, merchandyze, shippinge and 
men devoured by the treason of the Spanyards. I have not moche or any 
thynge more to advertyse your honour, nore the rest, because all our business 
hath had infelycytye, mysfortune, and an unhappy end, & therefore wyll 
troble the Queen's Majestie, nor the rest of my good lords with soch yll 
newes. But herewith pray your honour eftsoons to impart to soch as you 
shall thynke mete the sequell of our busyness. 

I mynd with God's grace to make all expedicyon to London myselfe, at 

chap, i.] TO THE WEST INDIES. 11 

what tyme I shall declare more of our esstate that ys here omytted. Thus 
prayinge to God for your Honours prosperous estate take my leave : from the 
Mynion the 25th day of Januarii 1568. 

Your's most humbly to command, 

(Signed) John Hawkins. 

To the Ryght Honorable Sir Wm Cycylle Knighte, & Principall Secretaire 
to the Queen's Majestie, gyve this. 

No mention whatever is made of the Judith, nor does the 
name of Drake once occur in Hawkins' account of this unfor- 
tunate voyage ; there are, however, detached accounts of it in 
which Drake is represented as having done wonders with the 
little Judith. 

Regarding the hundred men who were put on shore, and the 
sufferings they underwent from the Indians and Spaniards, the 
industry of Hakluyt and Purchas has collected many particulars. 
The accounts given by these men on their return to England of 
the miseries they had undergone, and of the horrid cruelties 
practised upon many of them by the Inquisition, tended greatly 
to arouse a spirit of indignation against the whole Spanish 
nation. The following account of the affair at St. Jean d'Ulloa 
was given by Job Horton, one of the sufferers who returned to 
England on the 2nd day of December, 1590. It is extracted 
from Hakluyt. 

" From Cartagena, by foule weather, wee were forced to seeke the port of 
Saint John de Ulloa. In our way thwart of Campeche we met with a 
Spaniard, a small ship who was bound for Santo Domingo ; he had in him a 
Spaniard called Augustine de Villa Neuva ; them we took and brought with 
us into the port of Saint John de Ulloa. Our Generall made great account 
of him, and used him like a nobleman ; howbeit in the ende he was one of 
them that betrayed. When wee had mored our ships and landed, wee 
mounted the ordinance that wee found there in the Ilande, and for our 
safeties kept watch and warde. The next day after wee discovered the 
Spanish fleete, whereof Lucon, a Spanyard, was Generall : witli him came a 
Spaniard called Don Martin Henriquez, whom the King of Spain sent to be 
his viceroy of the Indies. He sent a pinnesse with a flag of truce unto our 
Generall, to knowe of what countrie those shippes were that rode there in 
the King of Spaine's port ; who sayd they were the Queene of England's 
ships, which came in there for victuals for their money ; wherefore if your 
Generall will come in here, he shall give me victuals and all other neces- 
saries, and I will goe out on the one side the port, and he shall come in on 
the other side. The Spanyard returned for answere, that he was a viceroy 
and had a thousand men, and therefore he would come in. Our Generall 


sayd, If he be a viceroy I represent my Queene's person, and I am a viceroy 
as well as he : and if he have a thousand men, my powder and shot will take 
the better place. 

" Then the viceroy, after counsell among themselves, yeelded to our 
General's demand, swearing by his king and his crowne, by his commission 
and authority that he had from his king, that hee would performe it, and 
thereupon pledges were given on both parts. 

" Our Generall bearing a godly and Christian minde, voyde of fraude and 
deceit, judged the Spanyards to have done the like, delivered to them five 
gentlemen, not doubting to have received the like from them ; but the faith- 
lesse Spanyardes, in costly apparell gave of the basest of their company, as 
afterwardes it was well knowen. These things finished, proclamation was 
made on both sides that on payne of death no occasion should be given 
whereby any quarrel should grow to the breach of the league, and then they 
peaceably entered the port with great triumph on both sides. 

" The Spaniards presently brought a great hulke, a ship of five hundred, 
and moredher by the side of the Minion, and they cut out ports in their other 
ships, planting their ordinance towardes us ; in the night they filled the 
hulke with men, to lay the Minion aboord, as the sequel did shew, which made 
our Generall doubtful of their dealings ; wherefore, for that he could speake 
the Spanish tongue, he sent Robert Barret aboord the viceroy to know his 
meaning in those dealings, who willed him with his company to come in to 
him, whom he commanded presently to be set in the bilbowes, and forthwith 
a cornet (for a watch-word among the false Spaniards) was sounded for the 
enterprising of their pretended treason against our Generall, whom Augus- 
tine de Villa Neuva, sitting at dinner with him, should then presently have 
killed with a poynarde, which hee had privily in his sleeve, which was 
espyed and prevented by one John Chamberlayne, who tooke the poynarde 
out of his sleeve. Our Generall hastily rose up, and commanded him to be 
put prisoner in the steward's roome (and to be kept with two men). 

" The faithlesse Spanyards, thinking all things to their desire had been 
finished, suddenly sounded a trumpet, and therewith three hundred Spanyards 
entred the Minion ; whereat our Generall with a loude and fierce voyce 
called unto us, saying, ' God and Saint George ! upon those traiterous vil- 
laines, and rescue the Minion ; I trust in God the day shall be ours :' and 
with that the mariners and souldiers leapt out of the Jesus of Lubeck into the 
Minion, and beat out the Spaniards ; and with a shot out of her fiered the 
Spaniards' Vice Admiral,* where the most part of 300 Spanyards were 
spoyled and blowen over-boord with powder. Their Admirall * also was on 
fire halfe an houre. 

" We cut our cables, wound off our ships, and presently fought with them : 
they came up upon us on every side, and continued the fight from ten of the 
clocke until it was night : they killed all our men that were on shore in the 
iland saving three, which, by swimming, got aboord the Jesus of Lubeck. 

* In those days the two chief ships were so called. 

chap, i.] TO THE WEST INDIES. 13 

They sunke the Generall's ship called the Angel, and tooke the Swallow. 
The Spaniards' Admirall had above threescore shot through her : many of 
his men were spoyled : foure other of their ships were sunke. There were 
in that fleete and that came from the shore to rescue them, fifteene hundred : 
we slew of them five hundred and fortie, as we were credibly informed by a 
note that came to Mexico. 

" In this fight the Jesus of Lubeck had five shotte through her mayne- 
mast ; her foremast was strooke in sunder under the hounds, with a chayne 
shotte, and her hull was wonderfully pearced with shotte : therefore it was 
impossible to bring her away. They set two of their owne shippes on fire, 
intending therewith to have burnt the Jesus of Lubeck, which we prevented 
by cutting our cables in the halse, and winding off by our sternefast. The 
Minion was forced to set saile and stand off from us, and come to an anker 
without shot of the iland. 

" Our Generall couragiously cheered up his souldiers and gunners, and 
called to Samuel his page for a cup of beere, who brought it him in a silver 
cup ; and hee, drinking to all men, willed the gunners to stand by their ordi- 
nance lustily like men. He had no sooner set the cup out of his hand but a 
demy culverin shot stroke away the cup, and a cooper's plane that stoode by 
the mainemast, and ranne out on the other side of the ship ; which nothing 
dismayed our Generall, for he ceased not to incourage us, saying, ' Feare 
nothing ; for God, who hath preserved me from this shot, will also deliver us 
from these traitours and villaines.' Then Captaine Bland, meaning to have 
turned out of the port, had his mainemast stroke over boord with a chaine 
shot that came from the shore ; wherefore he ankered, fired his ship, tooke 
his pinnesse with all his men, and came aboord the Jesus of Lubeck to our 
Generall, who said unto him that he thought he would not have runne away 
from him : he answered that he was not minded to have runne away from 
him, but his intent was to have turned up, and to have laid the weathermost 
ship of the Spanish fleete aboord, and fired his ship, in hope therewith to 
have set on fire the Spanish fleete. He said if he had done so he had done 
well. With this, night came on. Our Generall commanded the Minion, for 
safeguard of her masts, to be brought under the Jesus of Lubeck's lee : he 
willed M. Francis Drake to come in with the Judith, and to lay the Minion 
aboord, to take in men and other things needefull, and to goe out ; and so he 

" At night, when the wind came off the shore, we set sayle, and went out 
in despite of the Spanyards and their shot, where we ankered with two ankers 
under the island, the wind being northerly, which was wonderfull dangerous, 
and wee feared every houre to be driven with the lee shore. In the end, 
when the wind came larger, we waied anker and set saile, seeking the river 
of Panuco for water, whereof we had very little ; and victuals were so scarce 
that we were driven to eate hides, cats, rats, parrats, munkies, and dogges. 
Wherefore our Generall was forced to divide his company into two parts, for 
there was a mutinie among them for want of victuals ; and some said that 
they had rather be on the shore to shift for themselves amongst the enemies, 
than to starve on ship-boord. 


** He asked tliem who would go on shore, and who would tarry on ship- 
boord ? Those that would goe on shore, he willed to goe on fore mast, and 
those that would tarrie, on baft mast : fourescore and sixteene of us were 
willing to depart. 

" Our Generall gave unto every one of us five yards of Roane cloth, and 
money to them that demanded it. When we were landed, he came unto us, 
where, friendly embracing every one of us, he was greatly grieved that he 
was forced to leave us behind him ; he counselled us to serve God, and to 
love one another ; and thus courteously he gave us a sorrowfull farewell, and 
promised if God sent him safe home he would do what he could, that so 
many of us as lived should by some means be brought into England (and so 
he did)." 

chap, ii.] DRAKE'S EXPEDITION. 15 




State of England and Spain — Revised Relation of this Voyage by Drake 
himself — Arrive at Port Pheasant — Symerons — Transactions at Nombre 
de Dios — The Treasury and Governor's house — Drake wounded — Return 
to their ships at the Isle of Pinos— Cartagena — Capture a great ship of 
Seville— Drake destroys his own ship .the Swan — Takes several vessels — 
Arrives at Port Plenty — Drake leaps on shore at Cartagena — John Drake 
slain — Sickness in the crew — Death of Joseph Drake — Attempt to reach 
Panama by land — Disappointment— Drake is led to a great tree — Dis- 
covers the South Sea, and makes a solemn vow— Vasco de Balboa — Re- 
turns to England — Sir Wm. Davenant's Drama. 

The treacherous and unjust conduct of the Spaniards towards 
the unfortunate adventurers in the voyage detailed in the pre- 
ceding chapter, and to other traders to the West Indies and the 
coasts of the Spanish Main, roused a flame of indignation in 
England, more especially among the mercantile and seafaring 
community ; and the cry for vengeance and retribution was 
loudly expressed against these tyrants of the New World. 
Elizabeth was well disposed to encourage adventurers desirous 
of sharing in the riches extorted by Spain from Mexico and 
Peru ; nor was she unwilling to chastise Philip, who was em- 
ploying every means in his power to seduce her subjects from 
their religion and allegiance ; but the circumstances of the times 
made it inexpedient to commit the nation to anything that could 
be construed into a direct act of aggression. The two sovereigns 
were to each other in a state of peaceable animosity, each 
" willing to wound, but yet afraid to strike." Elizabeth was a 
staunch Protestant ; Philip the slave of the Pope and the tool 

* So called by Sir F. Drake (the nephew), but it is in fact Drake's Fifth 
Voyage to the West Indies. 

16 DRAKE'S EXPEDITION [chap. ii. 

of priests, Jesuits, and inquisitors. But it was not the policy of 
England to risk hostilities at home or abroad. The power of 
Spain was colossal, and the extent of her dominions both at home 
and abroad immense. At home, it embraced a sea-coast extending 
from the Mediterranean to the Netherlands, except that portion 
which belonged to France ; abroad, the West India Islands, and 
two-thirds of the vast continent of America, were under her 
control ; and her galleons traded even to the East Indies. 

The naval and military forces of England were small in com- 
parison with those of Spain ; her ships greatly inferior in point 
of magnitude ; and the want of colonies had checked her mer- 
cantile marine. 

The particulars of Drake's voyage to the West Indies, the 
great object of which was to visit Nombre de Dios, then the 
storehouse and shipping place for the immense quantities of gold 
and silver obtained by Spain from Peru and Mexico, have been 
related by several of the old historians, Camden, Hakluyt, 
Purchas, Strype, &c. : but the details given in the following 
pages are chiefly taken from the small quarto volume entitled 
' Sir Francis Drake Revived,' published in 1626 by Sir Francis 
Drake, the nephew of the great admiral. The title and dedi- 
cation of this volume, which has now become extremely rare, 
are curious. The title is as follows : — 

" Sir Francis Drake Revived, Calling upon this dull or effemi- 

memorable relation of the rare occurrances (never yet declared 
to the world) in a third voyage made by him into the west indies, 
in the years 1572 and 1573. Faithfully taken out of the Reporte 
of Mr. Christopher Ceely, Ellis, Hixon, and others, who were in 
the same voyage with him, by Philip Nichols, preacher. Reviewed 
also by Sir Francis Drake himselfe before his death, and much 
holpen and enlarged, by diveks notes, with his ovvne hand, here 



" to the high and mighty charles the flrst of great britain, 
France, and Ireland, King, all the blessings of this and a better 

" Most Gracious Soveraigne, 
" That this briefe treatise is yours, both by right and by succession, will 
appeare by the Author's and Actor's ensewing dedication. To praise either 

chap, ii.] " TO THE SPANISH MAIN. 17 

the Mistress or the Servant, might justly incurre the censure of Quis eos 
unquam sanus vituperavit ; either's worth having sufficiently blazed their 
fame. This present loseth nothing by glancing on former actions, and the 
observation of passed adventures may probably advantage future imploy- 
ments ; Caesar writte his owne Commentaries, and this Doer was partly y e . 
Inditor : neither is there wanting living testimony to confirme its trueth ; for 
his sake then cherish what's good and I shall willingly entertaine check for 
what's amisse : Your favourable acceptance may incourage my collecting of 
more neglected notes, however, though vertue (as Lands) be not inheritable, 
yet has he left of his name one that resolves, and therein joyes to approve 

" Your most humble 
" And loyall 
" Subject, 

" Fra : Drake (nephew)." 

Then follows a letter from the admiral to Queen Elizabeth : — 


" My Most dread Soveraigne, 
" Madam, Seeing diverse have diverslie reported and written of these 
voyages and actions, which I have atempted and made, every one endea- 
vouringe to bring to light whatsoever Incklings or Conjectures they have 
had, whereby many untruthes have been published, and the certaine trueth 
concealed, as I have thought it necessary myselfe, as in a Card, to prick the 
principall points of the Counsails taken, attempts made, and successe had, 
during the whole course of my employment in these services against the 
Spaniard, not as setting saile for maintayning my reputation in men's judg- 
ment, but onlie as sitting at Helme, if occasion shall be, for conducting the 
like actions hereafter: So I have accounted it my dutie to present this 
discourse to your Ma tie as of right, either for itselfe being the first fruits of 
your Servants Penne, or for the matter, being service done to your Ma ,ie by 
your poor Vassail, against your great Enemy, at such tymes, in such places, 
and after such sorte, as may seerne strange to those that are not acquainted 
with the whole cariage thereof, but will be a pleasing remembrance to your 
highnes, who take th' apparent height of th' Almighties favour toward you 
by these events, as truest Instruments, humbly submitting myself to your 
gracious censure, both in writing and presenting, that Posteritie be not 
deprived of such helpe as may hapilie be gained thereby, and our present 
Age at least may be satisfied in the rightfulnes of these Actions, which 
hitherto have bin silenced, and your servants labour not seeme altogether 
lost, but only in travell by sea and land, but also in writing the Report 
thereof, a worke to him no lesse troublesome, yet made pleasant and sweete, 
in that it hath bin, is, and shall be, for your Ma ,s content, to whom I have 
devoted myselfe, live or die. 

" Fra : Drake. 
" Jan : I. 
" 1592." 

18 DRAKE'S EXPEDITION [chap. ri. 

The narrative commences thus : 

" As there is a general vengeance which secretlie pursueth the doers of 
wrong, and suffereth them not to prosper, albeit no man of purpose impeach 
them : Soe there is a particular indignation ingraffed in the bosome of all 
that are wronged, which ceaseth not seeking by all meanes possible to re- 
dresse or remedie the wrong received, in so much that those great and 
mighty men, in whom their prosperous estate hath bredde such an over- 
weening of themselves that they do not onlie wronge their Inferiours, but 
despise them, being injured, seeme to take a verie unfitt course for their own 
safety and farre unfitter for their rest. For as iEsop teacheth, Even y e Fly 
hath her spleene, and the Emmet is not without her choller: and both 
together many tymes finde meanes, whereby though the Eagle lay her Eggs 
in Jupiter's lappe, yet by one way or other she escapeth not requital of her 
wrong done to the Emmet. 

" Among the manifold examples hereof which former ages have committed 
to memorie, or our tyme yealded to sight, I suppose there hath not bin any 
more notable then this in hand, either in respect of the greatness of the 
Person by whom the first Injurie was offered ; or the meanenes of him who 
righteth himself: the one being (in his owne conceit) the mightiest Monarch 
of all the world; the other an English Captaine, a meane subject of her 
Majesties, who, (besides the wronges received at Rio da Hacha with 
Captaine John Lovell in the years 65 : and 66 :) having bin grievously in- 
damaged at St. John de Ulloa in the Bay of Mexico with Captaine 
John Hawkins in the years 67 : and 68 : not only in the losse of his goods 
of some value, but also of his kinsmen and friends, and that by the falsehood 
of Don Martin Henriquez then the Vice Roy of Mexico, and finding that 
no recompence could be recovred out of Spaine by any of his owne meanes 
or by her Maiesties letters : he used such help as he might by two severall 
voyages into the West Indies ; the first with two ships, the one called the 
Dragon, the other the Swanne, in the year 70 : The other in*the Swanne 
alone, in the yeare 71 : to gaine such intelligence as might further him to 
get some amende for his losse : And having in those two voyages gotten such 
certaine notice of the persons and places aymed at, as he thought requisite, 
and thereupon with good deliberation resolved on a third voyage (the de- 
scription whereof wee have now in hand), he accordinglie prepared his ships 
and companie, and then taking the first opportunity of a goode winde had 
such successe in his proceedings, as now follows further to be declared. 

" On Whitson Eve, being the 24th of May in the yeare 1572, Captaine 
Drake in the Pascha of Plymouth of 70 Tonnes, his Admirall, with the 
Swanne of the same Porte of 25 Tonnes, his Vice- Admirall, in which his 
brother John Drake was Captaine, having in both of them, in men, and 
boyes, 73 : all voluntarilie assembled, of which the eldest man was 50 : all 
the rest under 30 ; so divided that there were 47 in one ship and 26 in the 
other, both richlie furnished with victuals and apparel for a whole yeare : 
and no lesse heedefully provided of all manner of Munition, Artillery, stuffe 
and tooles that were requisite for such a man of Warre, in such an attempte, 

chap, ii.] TO THE SPANISH MAIN. 19 

but especiallie having three daintie Pinnaces made in Plimouth, taken 
asonder all in pieces, and stowed aboard, to be set up (as occasion served), set 
saile from out of the Sound of Plymouth with intent to land at Nombre de 

On the 2nd of July they came in sight of the high land of 
Santa Martha, and directed their course to Port Pheasant, 

" Which," says the narrative, " our Captaine had so named it in his former 
voyage, by reason of the great store of those goodlie foules, which hee and 
his companie did then dailie kill and feede on in that place. When we 
landed here, we found by evident marks that there had been latelie there 
an Englishman of Plimouth called John Garrett, who had been conducted 
thither by certaine English Mariners which had been there with our Captain 
in some of his former voyages, who on a plate of lead, fastened to a very 
great tree, greater than any foure men joyning hands could fathom about, 
left these words engraven : 

" Captain Drake, If you fortune to come into this port make haste away ; 
for the Spaniards which you had with you here last year have betrayed this 
place, and taken away all that you left here. I departed hence this present 
7th July, 1572. " Your very loving friend, 

" John Garret." 

Notwithstanding this warning, Captain Drake resolved to put 
together his pinnaces in this convenient port : this work was 
finished in seven days. 

" Here he fortified himself on a plot of three-quarters of an acre of ground 
to make some safety for the present, by felling of great trees and bowsing 
and trailing them together with great pullies and halsers, until they were 
enclosed to the water, and then letting other fall upon them, until they had 
raised with trees and boughs thirty foot in height round about, leaving only 
one gate to issue at, neare the water side, which every night was shut up, 
with a great tree drawne athwart it. 

" The next day after we had arrived, there came also into that bay an 
English barque of the Isle of Wight, of Sir Edward Horsey's, wherein 
James Rause was captaine, and John Overy maister, with 30 men, of which 
some had bin with our captaine in this same* place the year before. They 
brought in with them a Spanish carvell of Sevill which he had taken the 
daie before, also one shallop with oares which he had taken at Cape Blanche. 
This Captaine Rause, understanding our Captaine's purpose, was desirous to 
joyne in consort with him, and was received on conditions agreed upon be- 
tween them. 

" 22nd July. Drake disposing there of all his companies according as 
they enclined most, he left the three ships and the Carvell with Cap : Rause, 
and chose into his four pinnaces (Cap : Rause's shallop made the fourth) 
besides 53 of his own men, 20 to atchieve what he intended, especially having 
proportioned, according to his owne purpose, and the men's disposition, their 
severall armes : namely, 6 Targetts ; 6 Fire Pikes ; 12 Pikes ; 24 Muskets 
and Callivers; 16 Bowes and 6 Partizans; 2 Drums and 2 Trumpets." 


20 DRAKE'S EXPEDITION [chap. ii. 

With this force he set out for Nombre de Dios ; and reached 
the Isles of Pinos on the 22nd of July. Here he met with cer- 
tain black men who had fled from the Spaniards their masters, 
and were known by the name of Symerons, who had enrolled 
themselves under two kings or chiefs. Drake, thinking these 
people might be of service to him, set them on shore on the main 
land, that they might make their way to the Isthmus of Darien. 

These Symerons were not negroes, but the native Indians of 
this part of the continent, who had fled from their tyrannical per- 
secutors ; they were not very dissimilar either in manners or cha- 
racter to the maroons of Jamaica ; but in the latter there was a 
mixture of the negro race. 

Drake came silently and by night before Nombre de Dios ; 
and finding his people were talking of the greatness of the town, 
and what its strength was, according to the report of the negroes 
whom they took at the Isle of Pinos, thought it best to put these 
conceits out of their heads at once, and therefore took the oppor- 
tunity of the rising moon to persuade his people that it was the 
dawn of day. 

" By this occasion we were at the towne, a longe hower sooner than was 
first purposed. For we arrived there by three of the clock after midnight ; 
at what time it fortuned that a ship of Spaine of sixtie tunnes, laden with 
Canary wines and other commodities, which had but lately come into the 
Bay, and had not yet furled her sprit-sayle, espying our foure Pinnaces, sent 
away her Gundeloe towards the towne to give warning." 

Drake perceiving this, took his course between her and the 
town, and forced her to go to the other side of the bay ; by which 
means they landed without opposition, although they found one 
gunner upon the platform- 

" On landing on the platform, we found six great pieces of brass ordi- 
nance mounted upon their carriages, some demy, some whole Culverins : 
we presentlie dismounted them, the Gunner fledd, the Towne tooke Alarum, 
(being verie ready thereto by reason of their often disquieting by their neare 
neighbours the Symerons,) as we perceived not onelie by the noise and cryes 
of the people, but by the Bell ringing out, and drums runninge up anddowne 
the towne. Our Captaine sent some of our men to stay the ringing of the 
Alarum bell, which had continued all this while, but the Church being verie 
strongly built, and faste shutte. they could not without firing (which our 
Captaine forbad) get into the steeple where the Bell hung." 

In the market-place the Spaniards saluted the party with a 

chap, ii.] TO THE SPANISH MAIN. 21 

volley of shot : Drake returned the greeting with a flight of 
arrows, " the best ancient English compliments,'* says Prince. 
This drove them away, but he himself received a dangerous 
wound ; which he courageously concealed for a long time, " know- 
ing, if the general's heart stoops, the men's will fail ; and that if 
so bright an opportunity once setteth, it seldom riseth again." 
He left twelve of his men to keep their pinnaces and secure 
their retreat, and having strengthened the port, sent the rest to 
reconnoitre the town. He then commanded his brother and 
John Oxenham with sixteen men to go above the King's Trea- 
sure-house, and enter near the east end of the market-place, he 
himself designing to march with the rest up the broad street, 
with trumpets sounding and drums beating, to the market-place, 
the fire-pikes being divided between both companies, which 
whilst they affrighted the enemy gave light to the English. 
After a skirmish with the Spaniards, they seized upon two or 
three, and compelled them to conduct them to the Governor's 
house ; where usually all the mules, which brought the king's 
treasure from Panama, were unladen, though the silver only was 
kept there, the gold, pearls, and jewels being carried to the 
Treasury hard by. 

Drake and his party then went to the Governor's house, and 
found the door open, a fine Spanish horse ready saddled, and a 
candle lighted on the stairs ; by means of this light they saw a 
vast heap of silver in the lower room, consisting of bars piled 
up against the wall ; as nearly as they could guess, seventy feet 
in length, ten in breadth, and twelve in height, each bar between 
thirty-five and forty pounds' weight. If this estimate be correct, 
the value of the heap must have been about a million sterling. 
He next proceeded to the King's Treasure-house, telling his 
people — 

" That he had now brought them to the month of the Treasury of 
the World ; which if they did not gain, none but themselves were to be 

After this, he ordered his brother, with John Oxenham and 
their company, to break open the Treasure-house ; whilst he with 
the rest kept possession of the market-place ; but as he stepped 
forward, his strength, and sight, and speech failed him, and he 
fainted from loss of blood. At this his men were greatly dis- 

22 DRAKE'S EXPEDITION [chap. ii. 

tressed, and giving him somewhat to drink to revive him, they 
bound up his wound with his scarf, and urged him to leave the 
place. On his refusing to do so, they added force to their en- 
treaties, and carried him to his pinnace. 

" Divers of his men, besides himself, were wounded, though but one, and 
he a trumpeter, slain. Many of them got good booty before they left the 
place. But the wines in a Spanish ship, which they found in the harbour, 
they took along with them for the relief of their Captain and themselves. 
They carried off their prize to an island, which they called the Island of 
Victuals, where they staid two days to cure their wounded men, and refresh 
themselves in the gardens they found there, abounding with all sorts of roots, 
fruits, poultry, and other fowls no less strange than delicate." 

During their short stay there, an officer belonging to the gar- 
rison came to visit them, protesting that his coming was only to 
see and admire the courage of those who, with so small a force, 
had made so incredible an attempt. They had reason, however, 
for believing that his visit was made by the direction of the 
governor ; for he asked them whether the commander was the 
same Captain Drake who had been on their coast the two pre- 
ceding years : he inquired also whether their arrows, with which 
many of the Spaniards had been wounded, were poisoned, and 
how the wounds might be cured. Drake made answer, 

" That he was the same Drake they meant ; that it was never his custom 
to poison arrows ; that their wounds might be cured with ordinary remedies ; 
and that he wanted only some of that excellent commodity, gold and silver, 
which that country yielded, for himself and his company ; and that he was 
resolved, by the help of God, to reap some of the golden harvest, which they 
got out of the earth, and then sent into Spain to trouble all the world. 

" To this answer, unlooked for, this gentleman replied, ' If he might 
without offence move such a question, what should then be the cause of our 
departure from that town at this time, where there was above 360 tonnes of 
silver ready for the Fleet, and much more gold in value resting in iron chests 
in the King's Treasure House ?' 

" But when our Captain had showed him the true cause of his unwilling 
retreat on board, he acknowledged that we had no less reason in departing 
than courage in attempting. 

** Thus with great favour and courteous entertainment, besides such gifts 
from the Captain as most contented him, after dinner he was in such sort 
dismissed to make report of that he had seen, that he protested he was never 
honoured so much of any in his life." 

After a short rest at this place, Drake proceeded to the Isle 
of Pinos, where he had left his ships under the charge of Captain 

chap, ii.] TO THE SPANISH MAIN. 23 

Rawse ; who, being unwilling to continue the enterprise, now 
that they had been discovered by the enemy, was remunerated 
by Drake for his services ; and they parted on the 7th of August. 

The General now dispatched his brother and Ellis Hixon to 
examine the River Chagre, where he had been the year before, 
but of which he wished to have some further knowledge. On 
their return, he departed with his two ships and three pinnaces 
for Cartagena, where he arrived on the 13th; and the same day 
took two Spanish ships, one of 240 tons. 

Here he came to anchor in seven fathoms water, between the 
Island of Caresha and St. Barnard's. He led the three pin- 
naces round the island into the harbour of Cartagena, where, at 
the very entrance, he found a frigate at anchor, with only one 
man on board, the rest of the crew having gone ashore to fight 
about some fair lady. This man inadvertently revealed to Drake 
that, two hours before, there had passed by them a pinnace, with 
sail set, and rowing as fast as they could ; that the men on board 
asked them whether there had been any English or French there 
lately ? and upon being told that none had been seen, they bid 
them look to themselves. 

From this account, combined with other circumstances, Drake 
perceived that he was discovered : but as he learned from the 
same man that there was a large ship from Seville which was 
preparing to sail on the morrow for St. Domingo, he resolved to 
capture it ; and this he did with little difficulty. As the presence 
of his ships was now known at two of the most important places 
on the coast, Drake abandoned his intended attack in this quarter ; 
and turned his attention to opening a communication with the 
Symerons : but perceiving that the success of all his future efforts 
must depend on the efficient state of his pinnaces, and that he 
had not a sufficient number of sailors to man them fully, in addi- 
tion to the crews necessary for his two ships, he came to the bold 
determination of destroying one of the two, the Swan. But 
knowing the affection of the men for their ships, he was aware 
that some artifice must be used to accomplish this. He there- 
fore sent for Thomas Moone, the carpenter of the Swan, and 
taking him into his cabin, and speaking to him privately, ordered 
him, in the middle of the second watch, to go down secretly into 
the well of the ship, and with a large spike-gimlet to bore three 

24 DRAKE'S EXPEDITION [chap. ii. 

holes, as near to the keel as he could, laying something against 
them, that the rushing of the water might not be heard. 

Thomas Moone, although not without much dismay and un- 
willingness, consented to do so, and kept his promise. 

The next morning, August 15, Drake went out early in his 
pinnace fishing ; and, after inviting his brother to accompany him, 
inquired with a careless air, " Why their ship was so deep in the 
water?" Upon this the steward, going hastily down, found 
himself at once up to the waist in water ; and in great alarm 
cried out that " the ship was sinking ! " 

Immediate recourse was had to the pumps ; but, of course, 
to no purpose : and, after many hours' labour, the crew willingly 
acceded to Drake's proposal, set the poor Swan on fire, and went 
on board the pinnace. 

The next day they resolved to seek out a place in the Sound 
of Darien where they might leave their ship at anchor, concealed 
and safe ; and by thus leading the Spaniards to believe that they 
had quitted the coast, might the better prosecute their design 
with the pinnaces. 

Accordingly, having reached the Sound in five days, Drake 
selected a convenient spot ; and, having cleared away the trees 
and bushes, and erected huts, they remained here fifteen days ; 
cleaned their vessels, and took in stores of provisions, which were 
plentiful. To fill up the time, one half the men were allowed 
to amuse themselves alternate days with shooting at the butt, 
quoits, and other sports, whilst the rest worked. 

On the 5th of September, Drake, leaving the ship and one of 
the pinnaces with his brother, proceeded with the other two pin- 
naces to the Rio Grande. Here, cruising about between Carta- 
gena and Tolon, he took six frigates laden with hogs, hams, 
and maize ; and at the end of three days, having arrived at Port 
Plenty, in the Island of Pinos, he resolved to go with three 
pinnaces to Cartagena, leaving the rest of the men under the 
command of his brother, John Drake, who had succeeded in esta- 
blishing a communication with the Symerons. 

On the 1 6th October he anchored within sight of Cartagena ; 
but deemed it not prudent to land : and, on the 20th, the Spa- 
niards sent out two frigates without any cargo in them, evidently 
in the hope that Drake would take and man them, and thus weaken 

chap, ii.] TO THE SPANISH MAIN. 25 

his small force by dividing it : however, he was not to be thus 
entrapped ; but burnt one of them and sunk the other, in sight of 
two full-manned frigates, which came out, but were soon forced 
to retire. He now sprung on shore from one of his pinnaces, in 
the face of all the troops, which were assembled on the hills and 
hovering in the woods, but were afraid to come within range of 
the shot of his pinnaces. 

" To leap upon an enemy's coast," says Johnson, " in sight of a superior 
force, only to show how little they were feared, was an act that would in 
these times meet with little applause ; nor can the general be seriously com- 
mended, or rationally vindicated, who exposes his person to destruction, and, 
by consequence, his expedition to miscarriage, only for the pleasure of an idle 
insult, an insignificant bravado. All that can be urged in his defence is, 
that perhaps it might contribute to heighten the esteem of his followers ; as 
few meu, especially of that class, are philosophical enough to state the exact 
limits of prudery and bravery ; or not to be dazzled with an intrepidity, how 
improperly soever exerted. It may be added, that perhaps the Spaniards, 
whose notions of courage are sufficiently romantic, might look upon him as a 
more formidable enemy, and yield more easily to a hero of whose fortitude 
they had so high an idea." 

On the 27th of November they returned in their pinnaces to 
the ships, where they found everything in good order, but re- 
ceived the heavy news of the death of John Drake, and another 
young man called Richard Allen, who were both slain in 
attempting to board a Spanish vessel. 

" The manner of their death was this. When they saw the frigate at sea, 
the company were very importunate on John Drake to give chace and set 
upon this frigate, which they deemed had been a fit booty for them, but he 
told them that they wanted weapons to assail : they knew not how the 
frigate was provided ; they had their boat laden with planks to finish what 
his brother had commanded. But this would not satisfy them : they still 
urged him with words and supposals ; ' If ye will needs (said he) adventure, 
it shall never be said that I will be hindmost, neither shall you report to my 
brother that you lost your voyage by any cowardice you found in me.' 

" Thereupon every man shifted as he might for the time, and heaving the 
planks overboard, they took such few weapons as they had : namely, a 
broken-pointed rapier, one old fisgee, and a rusty calliver : John Drake took 
the rapier, and made a gauntlet of his pillow : Richard Allen took the fisgee, 
both standing at the head of their pinnace, called the Lion : Robert Cluich took 
the calliver, and so boarded. But they found the frigate armed round about 
with a close fight of hides, full of pikes and callivers, which were discharged 
in their faces, and deadly wounded those that were in the foreship : John 
Drake in his belly, and Richard Allen in his head. But notwithstanding 
their wounds, they, with care, shifted off the pinnace and got clear of the 

25 DRAKE'S EXPEDITION [chap. ii. 

frigate, and with all haste recovered their ship ; where, within an hour after 
this, this young man of great hope ended his days, greatly lamented of all 
the company." 

Early in January, six of the company fell sick, and died 
within two or three days ; and at this time there were thirty men 
ill of a calenture, occasioned by a sudden change from cold to 
heat, or from the salt or brackish water procured at the mouth of 
the river, the seamen having- been too lazy to go farther up. 

" Among the rest, Joseph Drake, another of our Captain's brothers, died 
in our Captain's arms of the same disease, of which that the cause might be 
the better discerned, and consequently remedied to the relief of others, by 
our Captain's appointment he was ript open by the surgeon, who found his 
liver swollen, his heart as it were sodden, and his gutts all fair. This was 
the first and last experiment that our Captain made of anatomy in this 

" The surgeon that cut him up overlived him not past four days, although 
he were not toucht with that sickness of which he had been recovered a 
month before, but only of an overbold practice which he must needs make 
upon himself, by receiving an over-strong purgation of his own device, after 
which, once taken, he never spake ; nor did his boy recover the health which 
he lost by tasting it till he saw England. Altogether twenty-eight of our 
men died here." 

Drake now made his arrangements for proceeding by land to 
Panama. They set out on Shrove Tuesday the 3rd of February, 
leaving only a few sound men to secure the ships and tend the 
prisoners. They were in all forty-eight, being eighteen English, 
and the rest Symerons. In a few days they reached Venta Cruz. 

The King, or Chief of these people, dwelt in a city sixteen 
leagues south-east of Panama, and was able to raise seventeen 
hundred fighting men. The towns consisted of about sixty 
families; in which, to use Prince's words, "the people lived 
cleanly and civilly." 

Drake, having been informed by the Symerons that numerous 
recoes conveying treasure would now be coming across the isth- 
mus from Panama, or from Venta Cruz to Nombre de Dios, set 
out for the purpose of waylaying them on their route. He 
arrived, on the 11th of February, at the top of a very high hill ; 
on the very summit of which grew a tree of great size, from which 
both the North and South Seas could be seen. Here one of 
the chief Symerons, taking Drake by the hand, desired him to 
ascend " that goodlie and great high tree," as the manuscript 

chap, ii.] TO THE SPANISH MAIN. 27 

terms it. Having done so by means of steps cut out in the trunk, 
he found that in the midst of the branches they had constructed 
a convenient arbour, in which twelve men might sit ; and from 
thence he clearly discerned both the north and south Atlantic 

Drake having taken a full view of that sea, of which he had 
heard such 'golden reports,' with great solemnity besought God 
" to give him life, and leave, once to sail an English ship in 
those seas ;" and, adds the historian, " he was heard in what he 
asked, as will hereafter appear." Camden gives the following 
account of this discovery : — 

" Drake," he says, " roving for a time up and down in the parts adjoining, 
discerned from the mountains the South Sea. Hereupon the man, being in- 
fluenced with ambition of glory and hopes of wealth, was so vehemently 
transported with desire to navigate that sea, that falling down there upon 
his knees, he implored the Divine assistance that he might, at some time or 
other, sail thither and make a perfect discovery of the same ; and hereunto 
he bound himself with a vow. From that time forward, his mind was 
pricked on continually night and day to perform his vow." 

This, however, was not the first discovery of the great South 
Sea. In the year 1513, six years previous to the voyage of 
Magelhaens, Vasco Nunnez de Balboa, a Spanish commander of 
Darien, to verify the intelligence he had received, marched with 
a body of Spaniards and Indian guides across the isthmus. He 
was opposed on the passage by the natives. They demanded 
who the bearded strangers were, what they sought after, and 
whither they were going ? The Spaniards answered, " They 
were Christians ; that their errand was to preach a new religion, 
and to seek gold ; and that they were going to the Southern Sea." 
This answer not giving satisfaction, Balboa made his way by 
force. On arriving at the foot of a mountain, from the top of 
which he was informed that the sea he so anxiously wished to 
discover was visible, he ordered his men to halt, and he himself 
ascended alone. As soon as he had attained thfe summit, he fell 
on his knees ; and, with uplifted hands, returned thanks to heaven 
for having bestowed on him the honour of being the first Euro- 
pean that beheld the sea beyond America. Afterwards, descend- 
ing to the sea-shore, in the presence of his followers and of many 
Indians, lie walked up to his middle in the water, with his sword 
and target ; and called upon them to bear testimony that he took 

28 DRAKE'S EXPEDITION [chap. ii. 

possession of the South Sea, and all which appertained to it, for 
the King of Castile and Leon. 

A similar account of Balboa's discovery is given by Southey, 
but in a more solemn and impressive manner : 

" Falling prostrate on the ground, and raising himself again upon his 
knees, as the manner of the Christians is to pray, lifting up his eyes and 
hands towards heaven, and directing his face towards the new-found South 
Sea, he poured forth his humble and devout prayers before Almighty God, 
as a spiritual sacrifice with thanksgiving, that it pleased his Divine Majesty 
to reserve unto that day the victory and praise of so great a thing unto him, 
being but a man of small wit and knowledge, of little experience, and base 
parentage. And having beckoned his companions to come to him, he again 
fell to his prayers as before, desiring Almighty God and the blessed Virgin 
to favour his beginning, and to give him good success to subdue those lands 
to the glory of his Holy name, and increase of his true religion ; all his com- 
panions did likewise, and praised God with loud voices for joy. Then 
Vasco, with no less manly courage than Hannibal of Carthage showed his 
soldiers Italy from the promontories of the Alps, exhorted his men to lift up 
their hearts, and to behold the land even now under their feet, and the sea 
before their eyes, which should be unto them a full and just reward of their 
great labours and travails now overpast When he had said these words, he 
commanded them to raise certain heaps of stones in the stead of altars, for a 
token of possession."* 

Ramusio says that Vasco, after returning thanks to God and 
all the saints of heaven, addressed himself to the sea itself, 
exclaiming " O mare del sur, Rege gli altri mari, fa che placido 
et quieto riceva la mia venuta !" 

When arrived within view of Panama, Drake and his party 
quitted the frequented path, and secreted themselves in a wood 
near the road between Panama and Nombre de Dios. Thence 
Drake sent one of the Symerons, in the dress of a native of 
Panama, to ascertain on what night the recoes were expected. 
These recoes consist of fifty, sixty, or seventy mules laden with 
treasure, and are guarded by a considerable number of armed 
men. The spy soon returned with the information that the 
treasurer of Lima was on his route to Europe, and would pass 
by that very night with eight mules laden with gold, and one 
with jewels. 

On the receipt of this information they immediately marched 
towards Yenta Cruz ; and Drake, selecting a convenient spot, 

* Southey, from Eden's translation of Peter Martyr. 

chap, ii.] TO THE SPANISH MAIN. 09 

ordered his men to lie down in some high grass, half on one side 
of the road and half on the other ; but the one party somewhat in 
advance of the other, so that the first and last of the string of 
mules, all of which are tied together, might be seized at the same 

When they had lain thus in ambush for at least an hour, they 
heard the tinkling of the mules' bells, and the rich prize seemed 
to be within their grasp : but one of the soldiers, heated by 
liquor, in direct disobedience of Drake's order that no one should 
stir until the signal was given, would needs signalise himself by 
anticipating the victory ; and by so doing alarmed one of the 
Spanish gentlemen who was attending the party, and who imme- 
diately apprised the treasurer of the danger. The gold and 
jewels were sent back, and the whole country was soon up in 
arms against the English. 

This disappointment was great, and the danger still greater ; 
nor can any situation be imagined more calculated to try the 
temper, courage, and judgment of a leader. Drake proved him- 
self fully equal to the emergency. Two courses were before 
him : to retreat by the road on which he had advanced, or to 
proceed onward, and force his passage to Venta Cruz. To march 
back would be to confess his own weakness, and to encourage 
the Spaniards to pursue him : boldly to advance would give his 
own men confidence, and daunt his enemies. Drake at once re- 
solved to adopt the latter course. He explained his intention to 
Pedro, the leader of the Symerons, and demanded of him whether 
he was prepared to follow him. Having received his strong 
assurance of support, he advanced to the spot where the Spaniards 
were posted. Their leader called upon the little band to sur- 
render. Drake, with bold pride, defied him. He had com- 
manded his men to receive the first volley of the enemy without 
returning it, and no one was to fire until he sounded his whistle. 
TFiey obeyed his directions ; and one man only fell by the 
volley which the Spaniards fired. The General then gave the 
signal ; and the English, after discharging their arrows and shot, 
pressed gallantly forward. The boldness of their bearing appears 
to have daunted the Spaniards, who attempted no further re- 
sistance, but fled into the city ; and were pursued not only by 
the English, but by the Symerons also; who, as soon as they 

30 DRAKE'S EXPEDITION [chap. it. 

had recovered from the consternation into which the discharge 
of the fire-arms had thrown them, recalled their courage, ani- 
mated each other with their war-cries, and fully redeemed the 
pledge which their leader had given. 

On this occasion Drake evinced his accustomed humanity and 
forbearance. Not only did he treat the inhabitants with cle- 
mency, but he himself went to the Spanish ladies, and assured 
them that every respect should be paid to them. Taking into 
consideration the mere handful of English by whom this exploit 
was performed, and all the circumstances attending it, few bolder 
things have ever been achieved. Its success was complete : the 
Spaniards appear to have been absolutely paralysed ; and Drake 
pursued his march to his ships without any opposition, or even 
the fear of any. When within five leagues of their vessels they 
found some huts which, during their absence, a party of the 
Symerons had built expressly for their accommodation. Here 
Drake consented to halt, his men being spent with travel : but 
being very anxious to ascertain the condition of the men who 
had remained with the vessels, he sent one of the Symerons to 
the ships with a gold toothpick as a token. The officer who was 
in charge knew it ; but would not consent to obey the instructions 
which the Symeron brought him ; the General having expressly 
ordered him not to credit any messenger unless he brought with 
him his handwriting. At length he perceived that Drake had 
scratched his name upon it with the point of his knife : on which 
he immediately sent a pinnace up the river to meet them ; and 
on the 23rd of February the entire company were reunited ; and 
Drake, with his usual piety, celebrated their meeting by thanks- 
giving to God. 

He now turned his thoughts to new enterprises : and although 
he failed to capture a vessel which was lying in the harbour at 
Veragua, and which was reported to contain a million in gold, 
yet ultimately, between Rio Francesco and Nombre de Dios, the 
English and Symerons, together with a party of Frenchmen 
under the command of a Captain Teton, who had joined Drake 
at Cattivas, obtained a rich booty ; three recoes, consisting alto- 
gether of 109 mules, each carrying 300 pounds' weight of silver, 
being captured by them with little difficulty, and without the 
loss of a single man. As they could only carry away a small 

chap, ii.] TO THE SPANISH MAIN. 31 

portion of this weight of silver, they hid the remainder in holes 
and shallow pools. But their labour was fruitless, for when at a 
later period they returned to the place, they found that the 
Spaniards had discovered nearly all their hiding-places, and re- 
covered their lost treasure. 

With that portion, however, of the silver which they were 
able to take with them, they reached Rio Francesco on the 3rd 
of April. There, to their great surprise, and to the consterna- 
tion and alarm of many of their band, instead of finding their 
own pinnaces, they beheld seven Spanish shallops, well manned 
and armed, and evidently on the look-out for them. The belief 
was general that their own ships had been discovered and taken. 
But here again Drake evinced not only his penetration and judg- 
ment, but also his indomitable resolution. Whatever he himself 
might think of the real circumstances in which they were placed, 
he showed so much confidence and alacrity, and used such argu- 
ments, that he imparted new life and courage into every one 
around him. His great anxiety was to rejoin his pinnaces before 
the Spaniards should have completed their arrangements for 
attacking them : but not only was it a matter of doubt where his 
vessels were stationed ; but the nature of the country (high 
mountains covered with woods, and intersected by deep rivers) 
rendered it impossible to seek them by land ; and they had not a 
single boat. In this emergency he ordered a raft to be con- 
structed of the fallen trees which the river had brought down to its 
mouth ; and with no other sail than a biscuit-sack, and no other 
rudder than a young tree rudely shaped into an oar, he with 
three others, who volunteered to accompany him, put out to sea. 
Having sailed upon this raft for six hours, and for a distance of 
more than three leagues, he and his companions sitting up to 
their middle in water, and at every wave up to their arm-pits, 
they at length had the great joy of seeing their pinnaces coming 
towards them : but soon afterwards, the men on board not per- 
ceiving the raft, in consequence of the wind and the approach of 
night, altered their course, and ran for shelter behind a point of 
land. Drake, rightly judging that they would anchor there, ran 
his raft ashore, and walking over land to the other side of the 
point, found his vessels just where he expected. Great, of course, 
was the joy on both sides. Proceeding from this place to Rio 

32 DRAKE'S EXPEDITION [chap. n. 

Francesco, he took in the rest of his company, with that part of 
the treasure which they had been able to carry with them through 
the woods ; and then making the utmost expedition, they soon re- 
joined their other vessels, where Drake divided equally between 
the English and the French all the gold and silver which had 
been taken. He now also dismissed the Symerons, who had 
proved themselves such useful allies. That they might not go 
away unrewarded, he broke up his pinnaces and gave them the 
iron — to them by far the most valuable of metals. But he was 
anxious to give their leader, Pedro, some special token of regard. 
He desired him therefore to go through the ship, and select 
whatever object he best liked. It was soon evident that Pedro 
had taken a great fancy to a rich cimeter which had been given 
to Drake by the French Captain Teton ; but was too modest to 
ask for it ; and fearful also lest Drake should so value it as to be 
unwilling to part with it. As soon as the General learnt this, 
he at once presented it to him. Pedro was overwhelmed with 
joy; and, anxious to show his gratitude, entreated Drake to 
accept from him, in return, four wedges of gold, as a pledge of 
his friendship. Drake was unwilling to take them, but the 
grateful Indian insisted on his doing so. The General, having 
received them with all courtesy, threw them into the common 
stock, observing, " That it was only just that those who bore 
part of the charge with him in setting him to sea, should likewise 
enjoy their full proportion of the advantage at his return." 

Having now resolved to return to England, and being fully 
prepared, they set sail, and steered a direct course home ; and 
proceeded with so prosperous a gale that in twenty-three days 
they passed from Cape Florida to the Isles of Scilly ; and arrived 
at Plymouth on Sunday, the 9th of August, 1573, during sermon 
time. The news of Drake's return being carried into the church, 
few of the congregation remained with the preacher : " All," 
says the narrative, " hastening to see the evidence of God's love 
and blessing towards our gracious Queene and countrey, by the 
fruite of our Captaine's labour and successe. 
Soli Deo Gloria." 

This voyage occupied fourteen months and some odd days. 
It not only excited intense interest at the time, but a hundred 
years afterwards Sir William Davenant, poet - laureate to 

chap, ii.] TO THE SPANISH MAIN. 33 

Charles II., took it as the subject of one of his dramas, which 
he entitled ' The History of Sir Francis Drake, expressed by 
instrumental and vocal music, and by art of Perspective in 
Scenes, &c.' 

In this drama the incidents of the voyage are pretty cor- 
rectly told in rhyme ; accompanied with appropriate scenery, 
songs, dances, and choruses by the mariners and the Symerons, 
Pedro performing a principal part. The first scene is laid at 
Port Pheasant ; the men are busied setting up the pinnaces, 
&c. ; and the arrival of Captain Pause is announced by the 
Boatswain : — 

Boatswain. The Lion Rause is landed here, 
I'll run to meet him at the pier. 
A ton of yellow gold, 
Conceal'd within our hold, 
For half my share I scorn to take, 
When he is joined with Dragon Drake. 

In the fourth " Entry," with " hills, a wood, and a tree of 
extraordinary compass and height," we have the following dia- 
logue : — 

Drake. Is this that most renown'd of Western trees, 

On whose main-top 
Thou gav'st me hope 
To view the North and South Atlantick Seas ? 
Pedro, It is ; therefore, with speed, 

Thither, my chief, proceed : 
And when you, climbing, have attained the height, 
Report will grow authentick, by your sight. 
Drake. When from these lofty branches, I 

The South Atlantick spy, 
My vows shall higher fly, 
'Till they with highest heav'n prevail, 
That, as I see it, I may on it sail. 
Drake, Jun. No English keel hath yet that Ocean plowed. 
Pedro. If prophecie from me may be allow'd, 

Renown'd Drake, Heaven does decree 
That happy enterprize to thee : 
For thou of all the Britons art the first 
That boldly durst 
This Western World invade : 
And as thou now art made 
The first to whom that Ocean will be shown, 
So to thy Isle thou first shall make it known. 


34 VOYAGE ROUND THE WORLD. [chap. hi. 




Preliminary observations — Drake's Services in Ireland — He is patronised by 
the Queen — Expensive preparations for the Voyage — Secrecy as to its 
destination — The cause of a rival enterprise — Oxenham's disastrous voyage 
and death — Drake's squadron — Captures made by it — Misconduct of 
Doughty — Patagonians — Arrival at St. Julian — Trial and execution of 
Doughty— Passage through the Strait of Magelhaens — Driven down to 
Cape Horn — Passage up the North Pacific — Numerous captures of Trea- 

" Five years," says Camden, " after his return from a former 
voyage, to wit, in the year 1572, when Drake had gotten a 
pretty store of money, by playing the seaman and the pirate, 
he, to lick himself whole of the damage he had receaved from 
the Spaniards (which a divine belonging to the fleet had easily 
persuaded him to be lawful), set sail again for America." 

There can be little doubt that his late voyage had been 
greatly profitable to Drake; although the amount gai ned b y 
him is nowhere stated : and it was not likely that a person of 
his active and vigorous mind would sit down quietly, and lapse 
into a state of listless indolence ; but would rather be on the look 
out for some fresh employment congenial with his enterprising 
disposition. He betrayed no haste, however, to embark on a 
new voyage. Previous to the last he had made the acquaint- 
ance of the Earl of Essex ; who had been appointed Governor of 
the province of Ulster, for the purpose of quelling the rebels, 
more particularly in the district of Clandeboy, by means of 
volunteer adventurers, who were to be raised by himself, and to 
be rewarded by grants of land. 

Drake, thinking he might be of material assistance to the 
Earl, and perhaps with a view to his own interest, "furnished," 
says Stow, " at his own proper expense, three frigates with men 

chap, in.] VOYAGE ROUND THE WORLD. 35 

and munition, and served voluntary in Ireland under Walter, 
Earl of Essex ; where he did excellent service both by sea and 
land, at the winning of divers strong forts." We are not, how- 
ever, to suppose that a frigate in those days had any resemblance 
to the ships now so termed. A fregata was a small pinnace 
moved by sails and oars, of five, ten, or fifteen tons measurement, 
in use mostly in the Mediterranean. In those days there was no 
vessel in our navy denominated a frigate. 

The Irish project, however, failed. We learn from Rapin 
that, "in 1573, Walter Devereux, Earl of Essex, had leave to 
go to Ireland, to conquer the country of Clandeboy, at his own 
expense. But his enterprise was not crowned with success ; be- 
cause he was privately hindered by the Earl of Leicester, his 
enemy." The Irish historian, M c Skimmin, gives us somewhat 
more precise information. 

" In 157-3," he says, " came the Right Hon, the Earl of Essex into this land, 
as Captain-General and Governor of Ulster, and was, at this time, the chief 
of a band of military adventurers. He drove the Scots out of Clandeboy, 
and took the Castle of Lifford from Con. O'Donnell : but making little pro- 
gress, and receiving many angry messages from court, at the instigations of 
Lord Leicester, who was his greatest enemy, he resigned his command, and 
retired to Dublin, where he died of a broken heart, in September, 157G, at 
the early age of 36." 

Drake's exertions, however, on this occasion undoubtedly led 
to the establishment of his future reputation, by the introduction 
it procured for him to Sir Christopher Hatton, then Vice- 
Chamberlain, and through him to the Queen ; who, being ap- 
prised of his adventurous and successful expedition against her 
bitterest enemy the Spaniard, gave him a most flattering recep- 
tion, and encouraged him to follow up his brave and successful 
attacks upon the Indian colonies of Spain : nay, it is asserted by 
some historians, that she actually gave him a commission to 
make reprisals. As this would have been equivalent to a decla- 
ration of war, it is not credible : and still less can we believe 
that she should have said to him at his first audience, as the old 
chroniclers mostly have it, "I account that he who striketh 
thee, Drake, striketh me." Such an expression might, perhaps, 
have escaped the royal lips at a later period, and after his return 
from his voyage of circumnavigation, when she condescended to 
visit the " Golden Hind" at Deptford ; and when Drake "had 


36 VOYAGE ROUND THE WORLD. [chap. hi. 

been stricken" by certain of his own countrymen : she might 
then have sought, by an expression of such kindness, to soothe 
the pain that envy had inflicted ; but certain it is that she showed 
him such a degree of favour as at once to raise his fortune and 

The enterprise, which we are now about to relate, produced a 
great sensation at the time : nor has it ever ceased to be con- 
sidered as one of the boldest undertakings which the naval his- 
tory of England — rich as it is in deeds of courage and energy — 
has to record. In many respects, indeed, this voyage is memo- 
rable : a sea, hitherto unknown, was passed over ; a powerful 
enemy's territory was attacked, with means so scanty and inade- 
quate as to render the attempt apparently one of hopeless peril. 
Yet was the attack successful, and added new glories to Eng- 
land : and, to crown all, the globe was circumnavigated, a thing 
never but once performed before : and all this was accomplished 
by a fleet of five insignificant sized vessels, the largest being 
only of 100 tons burden ; and 164 seamen the complement of the 
whole.* ; 

From the splendid manner in which Drake fitted out his own 
ship, it may be concluded that there was no want of funds : — 

" He did not omit," says Prince, " to make provision for ornament and 
delight; carrying to this purpose with him expert musicians, rich furniture 
(all the vessels for his table, yea, many belonging to the cook-room, being of 
pure silver) with divers shows of all sorts of curious workmanship, whereby 
the civility and magnificence of his native country might, among all nations 
whither he should come, be the more admired." 

As Drake is known to have been a man of plain and simple 
habits, there can be no doubt that this display of wealth and 
taste was made, not from vanity, but from sound motives of 
policy ; and probably he had in view the similar conduct of the 
Portuguese in their first expedition to the East. 

The account of this voyage was published by Sir Francis 
Drake (nephew of the Admiral), under the title of ' The World 
Encompassed,' carefully collected, as the preface tells us, 

* The Pelican, 100 tons, Captain Drake ; the Elizabeth, 80 tons, Captain 
John Winter ; the Marygold, 30 ditto, Captain John Thomas ; the Swan, 
Flyboat, 50 ditto, Captain John Chester; the Christopher, pinnace, 15 ditto, 
Captain Thomas Moone. 

chap, in.] VOYAGE ROUND THE WORLD. 37 

" Out of the notes of Master Francis Fletcher, Preacher in this employ- 
ment, and clivers others his followers in the same : Offered now, at last, to 
publique view, both for the honour of the actor, but especially for the stirring 
up of heroick spirits, to benefit their countrie, and eternize their names by 
like noble attempts." 

He begins by informing his readers that 

" The main ocean by right is the Lord's alone, and by nature left free for all 
men to deal withall, as very sufficient for all men's use, and large enough for 
all men's industry. And therefore that valiant enterprize, accompanied with 
happy success, which that right rare and thrice worthy Captaine, Francis 
Drake, achieved, in first turning up a furrow about the whole world, doth 
not only overmatch the ancient Argonauts, but also outreacheth in many 
respects that noble mariner Magelhaens, and by farre surpasseth his crowned 
victory. But hereof let posterity judge." 

It is said that such secrecy was observed by Drake in making 
preparations for this voyage, that its destination was concealed 
even from his most intimate friends ; and that, when his little 
squadron put to sea, it was given out that it was bound for Alex- 
andria. It was, probably, in part owing to this concealment that 
the voyage to Nombre de Dios, and the other places about the 
isthmus of Darien, was anticipated by another adventurer, John 
Oxenham ; who in the late voyage served under Drake as a 
soldier, sailor, and cook, and was actively and usefully employed 
by him on various occasions. This man was so attached to 
Drake, that he declared his readiness to go with him on any 
future voyage, and to any part of the world : but having waited 
above two years, and not knowing of Drake's intentions, he, 
with some others, scraped together money enough to fit out a 
ship of 140 tons, with a crew of twenty seamen, and fifty other 
men; with which they sailed, in the year 1575, for the isth- 
mus of Darien. On arriving at Porto Bello, Oxenham learned 
from the Indians that a convoy of muleteers was expected to 
come to that place from Panama : he therefore marched with 
his company to meet them, having only two small guns and 
some muskets, with six Indians for their guides ; and proceeded 
about twelve leagues over the mountains, to a small river that 
falls into the South Sea. Here he built a pinnace ; and dropped 
down in her into the Bay of Panama, and thence to the Pearl 
Islands, near which place the plate ships from Peru usually pass 
in their voyage to Panama. Before long a small bark from Quito 

38 VOYAGE ROUND THE WORLD. [chap. hi. 

arrived at the island ; of which Oxenham took possession, and found 
in her sixty pounds' weight of gold, and a large supply of provi- 
sions. At the end of six days he took another bark from Lima, 
in which he found a hundred pounds' weight of silver in bars. 
He then went in search of pearls on the island ; found a few, and 
returning to his pinnace, re-entered the river ; first, however, 
dismissing his two prizes. 

The delay on Pearl Island was the cause of all his misfor- 
tunes. The Indians of the island went, the very night he left 
them, to Panama, to give intelligence of what had happened : 
and a Spanish captain named Ortega was dispatched with four 
barks and 100 soldiers in search of him. In his way to Pearl 
Island he fell in with the two liberated prizes ; from the crews 
of which he learned that Oxenham had gone up a certain river. 
This river had three branches ; and Ortega was doubtful which 
of them to take : but having observed a quantity of fowl feathers 
swimming down one of the streams, he took that branch ; and, 
after four days' rowing, discovered Oxenham's pinnace upon the 
sands, with only six men in her, of whom his men killed one, but 
the other five escaped. In the pinnace, however, they found 
nothing but provisions. Ortega, therefore, left twenty of his men 
to guard her and his own barks; and, with the other eighty, set 
out to explore the country. They had not proceeded more than 
half a league before they discovered a hut, made of boughs, in 
which they found all the Englishmen's goods, together with their 
booty of gold, pearls, and silver. Satisfied with having recovered 
the treasure, Ortega was about to depart, when Oxenham came 
down upon him with his men and about 200 Symerons ; and 
attacked the Spaniards with great fury : but the latter got the 
better of the English party ; killed eleven of them, together with 
five Indians, and took seven prisoners ; having only two of their 
own men killed and five wounded. Oxenham escaped, and made 
the best of his way to his ship. 

Information having been sent from Panama, over the isthmus, 
to Nombre de Dios, of all that had passed, four barks were fitted 
out : these soon found Oxenham's ship, and carried her back to 
their port. — In the meantime the Viceroy of Peru had ordered 
150 men to scour the mountains in search of the English. 
When discovered, as they speedily were, some of them were sick, 

chap, in.] VOYAGE EOUND THE WORLD. 39 

and were easily made prisoners : the rest fled : but, being betrayed 
by the Indians, they were soon taken and conveyed to Panama. 
Here Oxenham was examined as to what authority he had from 
the Queen : and being unable to produce any power or commis- 
sion, he and his comrades were sentenced to suffer death, as 
pirates and common enemies of mankind ; and were accordingly n 
executed ; with the exception of Oxenham, who, with his master, 
pilot, and five boys, were carried to Lima ; where he and the 
other two men likewise suffered death ; but the boys were par- 
doned. And thus terminated the ill-conducted and unfortunate 
adventure of this young man, who deserved a better fate. His 
old commander Drake had the highest opinion of him ; and he 
was beloved by the whole crew.* 

Drake, of course, knew nothing of these events, which oc- 
curred while he was employed in fitting out his little squadron 
for the same scene of action ; and with which he left Plymouth on 
the 15th of November, 1577 ; but a violent storm overtook them, 
which obliged them to put into Falmouth ; and thence return to 
Plymouth to have their damages repaired. As soon as they were 
refitted, Drake set sail from Plymouth, a second time, on the 
13th of December. On the 27th they called at Mogador, on the 
coast of Barbary, for supplies ; and here he set up one of his pin- 
naces which he had carried with him in frame. The inhabitants 
showed signs of friendship, and promised to bring them, on the fol- 
lowing day, sheep, fowls, and other provisions : and accordingly 
they came down with camels laden with various articles, not only 
of provisions, but merchandise. But as they approached the coast 
an unlucky accident occurred. One of the boat's crew, John 
Fry, leaped hastily on shore, intending to give some of them a 
hearty shake of the hand : this so surprised and alarmed the 
Moors that they seized him ; and, to prevent his making any 
resistance, held a dagger to his throat, laid him across a horse, 

* Prince says there is a family of considerable standing of the name of 
Oxenham at South Tawton, near Oakhampton, " of which this strange and 
-wonderful thing is recorded : that at the death of any of them, a bird with a 
white breast is seen for a while fluttering about their beds, and then suddenly 
to vanish away ;" and Howel quotes the inscription on a tombstone, giving 
the names of several of the family to whom the bird had appeared — to the 
mother, a son, two sisters, and some others. " To all these," says Howell, 
" there be divers witnesses, both squires and ladies, whose names are en- 
graven upon the stone." 

40 VOYAGE ROUND THE WORLD. [chap. hi. 

and carried him off. The number of Moors was so great that 
his companions dared not attempt his rescue. It afterwards 
appeared, however, that their object, in this act of violence, was 
only to ascertain to whom the ships belonged ; and whether they 
were Portuguese, with whom they were then at war. When the 
chief, before whom the man was brought, was informed they were 
English, he immediately sent him back with presents to the cap- 
tain ; but the ships had unfortunately departed before his return. 
He was afterwards sent home to England by the Moors in a 
merchant vessel. 

In the meantime the little squadron, proceeding along the coast, 
fell in with three Spanish fishing-craft called caunters, which 
they took, and after that with three caravels at Cape Blanco. 
Drake restored two of their boats to the fishermen ; the third, 
of about 40 tons, he kept ; but gave the owner the Christopher 
in exchange. Here he remained four days, taking in water and 
provisions, and mustering and exercising his men. 

The squadron next proceeded to the Cape de Verde Islands ; 
and calling at Mayo, they landed, and found a town not far 
from the water's side, consisting of a great number of desolate and 
ruinous houses, with a poor naked chapel or oratory. Having 
here taken in fruits and refreshments, they next stood in for Porto 
Praya, in the island of St. Jago ; but, from distrust of the inha- 
bitants, did not anchor. Here they fell in with two Portuguese 
vessels; one of which they captured, laden with wine and other 
valuable articles. She had also several passengers on board, 
who requested to remain in her, on learning that the squadron 
was bound for the Brazils : but he dismissed the crew, and put 
twenty-eight of his own men into her, retaining the master, 
Nuno de Silva, in order to make use of him as a pilot on the 
Brazil coast : and he appointed Mr. Doughty, a friend of his 
own and a volunteer on the expedition, to the command of this 
Portuguese prize. To his* great mortification, however, a com- 
plaint was shortly afterwards preferred against Doughty ; of 
which the General lost no time in making an investigation. 
Fletcher gives the following account of this transaction : — 

" Into this Shipp the Generall sent one Tho : Doubty, Gentleman, to be 
Captain-; there, not long after his entering into his charge, he was charged 
and accused by John Brewer, Edward Bright, and some others of their 

chap, in.] VOYAGE ROUND THE WORLD. 41 

friends, to have purloined, to his proper use, to deceave the voyage from 
things of great value, and therefore was not to be put in trust any longer, 
least he might rob the voyage and deprive the company of their hope, and 
her Majesty and other adventurers, of their benefit, to inrich himself and 
make himself greater to the overthrow of all others. In regard whereof, 
the General speedily went on board the Prize to examine the matter, who 
finding certain pairs of Portugal Gloves, some few pieces of money of a 
strange coin, and a small Ring, all which one of the Portugals gave him out 
of his chest in hope of favour, all of them being not worth the speaking of. 
These things being found with him, not purloined but only given him, 
received in the sight of all men, the General, in his discression, deposed 
him from his place, and yet sent him in his own stead to the Admiral 
(meaning the ship) as commander of that company for the tyme, in his ab- 
sence ; and placed Thomas Drake, his brother, in the Prize, Captain in the 
room of Thomas Doubty, yet remained there himself till he had discharged 
the Portugals. 

" In the mean time the said Thomas Doubty, being aboard the Admiral!, 
was thought to be too peremptory and exceeded his authority, taking upon 
him too great a command, by reason whereof such as had him in dislike tok 
advantage agaynst him to complain a second tyme, which were heard with 
expedition to their own contentation ; for the Portugals, being set in one 
pinnace with necessary provisions of victual, whereof they rejoiced that they 
scaped with their lives, thinking Ships and Goods, as they said, well be- 
stowed, to arrive where they would. The General came aboard the Admiral, 
and upon the second complaint, remooved the said Doubty a prisoner into 
the fly boat with utter disgrace."* 

They next passed by the island of Fuego, the volcano on 
which was throwing up flames ; and then the island of Brava, 
where the sea was 120 fathoms deep close to the shore. This 
island, however, is described as a sweet and pleasant abode ; the 
trees abundant and always green ; figs always ripe, and cocos, 
plantains, oranges, and lemons in abundance ; silver streams of 
sweet and wholesome water, where boats may easily take in 
water. On the 17th of February they passed the equator ; 
previous to which, Drake, who was always careful of his men's 
health, had blooded every one of them with his own hand. 

Here the ships were becalmed ; they had much thunder and 
lightning ; and made little or no progress for the space of three 
weeks ; an occurrence not unfrequent, not only at the time in 
question, but for two centuries afterwards, owing to the prac- 
tice then invariably pursued of trying to make a direct and 
straight course across the line, instead of, as is now done, cross- 
. * Sloane MSS. in British Museum. 

42 VOYAGE ROUND THE WORLD. [chap. hi. 

ing it between the 20° and 24° of west longitude, where ships 
are very rarely becalmed. The consequence was, that Drake 
saw no land for fifty-fine days ; at the end of which period he 
reached the coast of Brazil. 

Drake here did little more than look into the great river La 
Plata ; as the object of his voyage did not lie in that quarter. He 
saw in it multitudes of seals ; of which they killed many, and 
found them good, both as food for present use and as a supply 
of provisions for the future. Standing to the southward, they 
anchored in a bay in 47° S. lat. ; all but the Swan and the Por- 
tuguese prize (now named the Mary), which had separated. 
Some natives were seen, to whom they made a signal by hoisting 
a white cloth ; which they answered by gestures and speech ; but 
kept at a distance. 

Near the rocks were places constructed for the purpose of 
drying fowls for food ; and in these they found above fifty 
ostriches (cassiowaries) ; the thighs of which were equal in size 
" to reasonable legs of mutton." Leaving this port, they found 
a better, somewhat less than a degree to the southward. The 
General sent the Elizabeth, Capt. Winter, with the steward, to 
look for the missing ships, the Swan and Mary- Winter met 
with the former, and brought her in. Here they trafficked with 
the natives. These people had no other covering than a skin, 
which, when sitting or lying in the cold, was thrown over their 
shoulders ; but which, when in motion, was bound round their 
loins. They painted themselves all over ; some had one shoulder 
painted white and the other black : and similar contrasts were 
exhibited on their sides and legs; in the black parts white moons 
were painted, and in the white parts black suns. 

" Magelhaens," says the ' World Encompassed,' " was not altogether de- 
ceived in naming them giants, for they generally differ from the common 
sort of men, both in stature, bigness, and strength of body, as also in the 
hideousness of their voice ; but yet they are nothing so monstrous or giant- 
like as they were reported, there being some Englishmen as tall as the highest 
of any that we could see ; but, peradventure, the Spaniards did not think 
that ever any Englishman could come thither to reprove them ; and there- 
upon might presume the more boldly to lie: the name Pentagones, five 
cubits, namely 7^ feet, describing the full height (if not somewhat more) 
of the highest of them." 

Modern voyagers have described these people as a strong and 

chap, in.] VOYAGE ROUND THE WORLD. 43 

powerful race, but by no means exceeding the ordinary size of 

It is not a little curious to find how differently people view 
the same objects : Cliffe (the writer of Winter's Voyage) 
says : — \ 

" The people were of mean stature, well limbed, but very sly. One of 
them, as the General stooped, snatched off his hat, which was of scarlet, with 
a gold band, and ran away with it. The General would not suffer his people 
to hurt any of them by way of resenting the injury." 

Mr. Fletcher, on the contrary, says that these people were 
of large stature ; that the hat was a gift from the General ; 
and that the Indian, proud of the gift, wore it every day : that 
they were well made, handsome, and strong ; their dispositions 
cheerful, and much addicted to merriment. Commodore Byron 
calls one of these Patagonians a " frightful colossus," not less 
than seven feet. Mr. Cummings, who was 6 feet 2 inches high, 
he calls by comparison a pigmy among giants, for " indeed," 
says he, " they may more properly be called giants than tall 
men." But Cook and Sir Joseph Banks decided the question, 
by ascertaining that the average height was from 5 feet 4 to 
5 feet 8 inches. 

Leaving Seal Bay, as it was called, on the 3rd of June, they 
anchored in another on the 12th ; where they unloaded the little 
fishing skifF, and turned her adrift. On the 20th, their whole 
force being united, they anchored in Port St. Julian. Here, 
in a foolish trial of skill with bows and arrows, Drake lost two 
of his most valuable men. Robert Winter, partly in sport, and 
partly to show English skill, pulling the string of his bow with 
over-violence, broke it ; and while he was busy fixing it again, 
some natives shot their arrows at him, and wounded him in the 
shoulder and lungs. On this the gunner, Oliver, took aim at 
them with his musket ; but it missed fire, and he was slain out- 
right by an arrow. It is probable that none of the party 
would have escaped, had it not been for the coolness and presence 
of mind of Drake. He animated their courage, and directed 
their movements ; ordering them, by perpetually changing their 
place, to elude as much as they could the aim of their enemies : 
and not only to defend their bodies with their targets, but to 
pick up and break the arrows as they fell ; he himself setting 

44 VOYAGE ROUND THE WORLD. [chap. hi. 

them the example : and this they did with so much diligence, 
that the Indians soon became short of arrows, 

" Which," says Fletcher, " the General perceiving, he then took the 
fowling-piece in hand, and priming it anew, made a shot at him which first 
began the quarrel, and striking him in the pancy with hail shot, sent his 
guts abroad with great torment, as it seemed by his cry, which was so 
hideous and terrible a roar, as if ten bulls had joined together in roaring." 

This seems to have dispersed the giants. On recovering the 
dead body of Oliver, Fletcher says — 

" When our men came to him, the enemies had thrust into one of his eyes 
one of our arrows as deep as they could. A sermon was preached, and the 
bodies, for Robert Winter died at the end of two days, were buried with 
such honours as in such case martial men used to have when they are dead ; 
being both laid in one grave, as they both were partakers of one manner of 
death, and ended their lives together by one and the self-same kind of 

One of the first objects that caught their attention at this 
place was a gibbet ; which had been set up, as was supposed, 
seventy years before, by Magelhaens, for the execution of cer- 
tain mutineers. No one, who then viewed it, could have antici- 
pated that a similar occurrence was about to take place in their 
own fleet, and within the same port. It has already been men- 
tioned that Mr. Doughty, one of the gentlemen volunteers, had 
been removed from the Portuguese prize for malversation : he 
now fell under the imputation of much deeper crimes. The 
melancholy history of this man has been told by all the narrators 
of Drake's voyages; and various degrees of guilt have been 
attributed to him. It is now, perhaps, impossible to arrive at the 
exact truth: but as some versions of the story would seem to 
leave a blot on Drake's justice and humanity, it is right to 
repeat what the several writers have told us of the circumstances 
of this transaction. Camden, the oldest and most respectable of 
all Drake's historians, says — 

" In this very place John Doughty, an industrious and stout man, and the 
next unto Drake, was called to his trial for raising a mutiny in the fleet, 
found guilty by twelve men, after the English manner, and condemned to 
death, which he suffered undauntedly, being beheaded, having first received 
the holy communion with Drake. And, indeed, the most impartial persons 
in the fleet were of opinion that he had acted seditiously ; and that Drake 

chap, in.] VOYAGE ROUND THE WORLD. 45 

cut him off as an emulator of his glory, and one that regarded not so much 
who he himself excelled in commendations for sea matters, as who he 
thought might equal him. Yet wanted there not some, who, pretending to 
understand things better than others, gave out that Drake had in charge 
from Leicester to take off Doughty, upon any pretence whatsoever, because 
he had reported abroad that the Earl of Essex was made away by the cun- 
ning practices of Leicester." 

The next most ancient and authentic authority is that of Hak- 
luyt, who says— 

" In this port (St. Julian) our General began to inquire diligently of the 
actions of Mr. Thomas Doughty, and found them not to be such as he looked 
for, but tending rather to contention of mutiny, or some other disorder, 
whereby (without redress) the success of the voyage might greatly have 
been hazarded ; whereupon the company was called together and made ac- 
quainted with the particulars of the cause, which were found partly by Mr. 
Doughty's own confession, and partly by the evidence of the fact, to be true : 
which, when our General saw, although his private affection to Mr. Doughty 
(as he then in presence of all sacredly protested) was great, yet the care he 
had of the state of the voyage, of the expectation of her Majestie, and of the 
honour of his countrie, did more touch him (as indeed it ought) than the 
private respect of one man ; so that the cause being thoroughly heard, and 
all things done in good order, as neere as might be to the course of our laws 
in England, it was concluded that Mr. Doughty should receive punishment 
according to the qualitie of the offence. And he, seeing no remedie but 
patience for himself, desired before his death to receive the communion, 
which he did at the hands of Mr. Fletcher, the minister, and our General 
himself accompanied him in that holy action ; which being done, and the 
place of execution made ready, he, having embraced our General, and taken 
his leave of all the companie, with prayer for the Queen's Majestie and our 
realm, in quiet sort laid his head to the block, where he ended his life." 

In speaking of the evil disposition of the people of St. Julian, 
which is ascribed to the cruelties of the Spaniards, who had 
visited this place, the narrator, in the ' World Encompassed,' 

" To this evil, thus received at the hands of the infidels, there was adjoined 
and grew another mischief, wrought and contrived closely among ourselves, 
as great, yea, far greater, and of far more grievous consequence than the 
former; but that it was, by God's providence, detected and prevented in 
time, which else had extended itself, not only to the violent shedding of in- 
nocent blood, by murdering our General, and such others as were most firm 
and faithful to him, but also to the final overthrow of the whole action in- 
tended, and to divers other most dangerous effects. 

"This plot was laid before the departure of the expedition from England, 
and which was made known to the General at Plymouth, who would not 

46 VOYAGE ROUND THE WORLD. [chap. hi. 

believe that a person* whom he so dearly loved would conceive such evil 
purposes against him ; till, at length, perceiving that the manifold practices 
grew daily more and more, even to extremities, and that lenity and favour 
did little good, he thought it high time to call these practices into question, 
and before it were too late to call any question of them into hearing ; and 
therefore, setting good watch over him, and assembling all his captains, and 
gentlemen of his company together, he propounded to them the good parts 
which were in the gentleman, the great good will and inward affection, 
more than brotherly, which he had ever, since his first acquaintance, borne 
him, not omitting the respect which was had of him among no mean per- 
sonages in England ; and afterwards delivered the letters which were written 
to him, with the particulars from time to time which had been observed, not 
so much by himself, as by his good friends ; not only at sea, but even at Ply- 
mouth ; not bare words, but writings ; not writings alone, but actions, tending 
to the overthrow of the service in hand, and making away of his person. 

" Proofs were required and alleged, so many, and so evident, that the gen- 
tleman himself, stricken with remorse of his inconsiderate and unkind deal- 
ing, acknowledged himself to have deserved death, yea, many deaths ; for 
that he conspired, not only the overthrow of the action, but of the principal 
actor also, who was not a stranger or illwiller, but a dear and true friend 
unto him ; and therefore, in a great assembly openly besought them, in 
whose hands justice rested, to take some order for him, that he might not be 
compelled to enforce his own hands, against his own bowels, or otherwise to 
become his own executioner. 

" The admiration and astonishment hereat, in all the hearers, even those 
which were his nearest friends, and most affected him, was great, yea, in 
those which, for many benefits received from him, had good cause to love 
him : but yet the General was most of all distracted ; and therefore withdrew 
himself, as not able to conceal his tender affection, requiring them that had 
heard the whole matter to give their judgments, as they would another day 
answer it unto their prince, and unto Almighty God, judge of all the earth. 

" They all, after duly weighing the evidence, above forty in number, the 
chiefest in place and judgment in the whole fleet, with their own hand, 
under seal, adjudged that he had deserved death ; and that it stood by no 
means with their safety to let him live ; and therefore they remitted the 
manner thereof, with the rest of the circumstances, to the General. There- 
fore they then proposed to him this choice : Whether he would take to be 
executed in this island ? or to be set upon land on the main ? or return into 
England, there to answer his deed before the Lords of her Majesty's Council ? 
He most humbly thanked the General for his clemency extended towards 
him in such ample sort ; and craving some respite, to consult thereon and so 
make his choice advisedly ; the next day he returned answer that, ' Albeit he 
had yielded in his heart to entertain so great a sin, as whereof he was now 

* Throughout the whole of this account in the ' World Encompassed,' 
particular., care has been taken to avoid stating the name of the guilty indi- 

chap, in.] VOYAGE ROUND THE WORLD. 47 

justly condemned ; yet he had a care, and that excelling all other cares, to 
die a Christian man, and therefore besought the General most earnestly he 
would not counsel him to endanger his soul by consenting to be left among 
savage infidels ; and as for returning to England, he must first have a ship, 
and men to conduct it, with sufficient victuals, if any men could be found to 
accompany him on so disgraceful an errand ; yet the shame of return would 
be more grievous than death ; and therefore he preferred that, with all his 
heart, he did embrace the first branch of the General's offer, desiring only 
this favour, that they might once again receive the holy Communion together 
before his death, and that he might not die other than a gentleman's death.' 

" No reasons could persuade him to alter his choice : seeing he remained 
resolute in his determination, his last requests were granted ; and the next 
convenient day a Communion was celebrated by Mr. Francis Fletcher, 
preacher and pastor of the fleet at that time. The General himself commu- 
nicated in this sacred ordinance with this condemned penitent gentleman, 
who shewed great tokens of a contrite and repentant heart. After this holy 
repast they dined also at the same table together, as cheerfully in sobriety, 
as ever in their lives they had done aforetime, each cheering up the other, 
and taking their leave, by drinking each to other, as if some journey only 
had been in hand. 

" After dinner, all things being ready prepared by the provost-marshal, 
Mr. Doughtie, without any dallying or delaying the time, came forth, and 
kneeled down, preparing at once his neck for the axe, and his spirit for 
heaven, which having done, without long ceremony, as one who had before 
digested this whole tragedy, he desired all the rest to pray for him, and 
willed the executioner to do his office, not to fear nor spare." 

Such is the account given of this transaction by Mr. Thomas 
Drake, who is believed to have been the chief compiler or, at 
least, reviser of the ' Voyage Round the World,' although it was 
published by his son, Sir Francis ; but there is a strong testimony 
against a very essential part of the story. The account given in 
Fletcher's MS. differs materially from it, and is wholly omitted 
in the printed history of the voyage. In the MS. nothing appears 
as to any choice being given to Mr. Doughty, between death and 
life, upon any terms. 

But it is best to give Mr. Fletcher's account of this melancholy 
event in his exact words, and from his own manuscript, or, to 
speak more correctly, from the certified manuscript copy of it 
contained in the Sloane MSS. in the British Museum. 

After narrating the conflict with the Patagonians, in which 
Robert Winter and Oliver were killed, he says : — 

" This bloudy Tragedie being ended, another more grievous ensueth. I 
call it more grievous because it was among ourselves begun, contrived, and 

48 VOYAGE ROUND THE WORLD. [chap. hi. 

ended \ for now, Thomas Doubty, our countryman, is called in question, not 
by giants but by Christians, even ourselves. The original of dislike against 
him you may read in the storye off the Hand of Cape Verde, upon the coast 
of Affrick, at the taking of the Portugal prize, by whom he was accused — 
and for what ? But now more dangerous matter, and of greater weight, is 
layed to his charge, and that by the same persons, namely, for words spoken 
by him to them, being in England, in the General's garden in Plymouth, 
long before our departure thence, which had been their parts and dutyes to 
have discovered them at that tyme, and not to have consealed them for a 
tyme and place not so fitting ; but how true it was wherewith they charged 
him upon their oathe, I know not ; but he utterly denied it upon his salva- 
tion, at the hour of communicating the Sacrament of the body and blood of 
Christ, at the hour and moment of his death, affirming that he was innocent 
of such things whereof he was accused, judged, and suffered death for. Of 
whom I must needs testifye the truth for the good things of God I found in 
him, in the tyme we were conversant, and especially in the time of his 
afflictions and trouble, till he yielded up the spirit to God — I doubt not, to 
immortality : he feared God, he loved his word, and was always desirous to 
edify others, and conforme himselfe in the faith of Christ. For his 
quality es, in a man of his tyme, they were rare, and his gifts very excellent 
for his age: a sweet orator, a pregnant philosopher, a good gift for the 
Greek tongue, and a reasonable taste of Hebrew ; a sufficient secretary to a 
noble personage of great place, and in Zealand an aproved soldier, and not 
behind many in the study of the law for his tyme ; and that with it a suffi- 
cient argument to prove a good Christian, and of all other things, a most 
manifest witness of a child of God to men, that he was delighted in the study, 
hearing, and practice of the word of God ; daily exercising himselfe therein 
by reading, meditating to himselfe, conferring with others, instructing of the 
ignorant, as if he had been a minister of Christ, wherein he profitted so 
much, that long before his death he seemed to be mortifyed, and to be 
ravished with the desire of God's kingdom, yea to be dissolved and to be with 
Christ, in whose death so many vertues were cutt off as dropps of blood new 
shedd, — who being dead was buried neer the sepulchre of those which went 
before him, upon whose graves I set up a stone, whereon I engraved their 
names, the day of their buriall, and the month and the yeare, for a monu- 
ment to them which shall fall with that place in tyme to come. 

"These thinges, with dropps of blood from the hartes of some, thus ended, 
wee went about our other business and necessarie affaires." 

It is evident that Fletcher speaks of Mr. Doughty in terms of 
more than common regard ; and describes him as a man of extra- 
ordinary virtue and endowments. It seems most improbable that 
such a man should attempt the crime attributed to him ; and 
supposing him to have succeeded, what next could he have done? 
lie does not appear to have had any confederates in the ship nor 
in the squadron ; and Drake was beloved by the whole crew; all 

chap, in.] VOYAGE ROUND THE WORLD. 49 

that he could possibly have expected after such a deed, would 
have been to be instantly torn in pieces by the crew. On this 
transaction Dr. Johnson has made the following reflections: — 

" How far it is probable that Drake, after having been acquainted with 
this man's designs, should admit him into his fleet, and afterwards caress, 
respect, and trust him ; or that Doughtie, who is represented as a man of 
eminent abilities, should engage in so long and hazardous a voyage, with no ■ 
other view than that of defeating it, is left to the determination of the reader, -v/ 
What designs he could have formed with any hope of success, or to what 
actions worthy of death he could have proceeded without accomplices, for 
none are mentioned, is equally difficult to imagine. Nor, on the other hand, 
though the obscurity of the account, and the remote place chosen for the 
discovery of this wicked project, seem to give some reason for suspicion, does 
there appear any temptation from either hope, fear, or interest, that might 
induce Drake, or any commander in his state, to put to death an innocent 
man upon false pretences." 

Blame has been attached to the mode of proceeding ; but it 
should be recollected that no court of martial-law existed in 
Queen Elizabeth's time, nor was there any court established for 
the trial of high criminal offences committed at sea ; the existing 
court dates no further back than the 13th year of the reign of 
Charles II., when an Act was passed " for establishing Articles 
and Orders for the Regulating and better Government of His 
Majesty's Navies, Ships of War, and Forces by Sea," on which 
the " Articles of War " are grounded. In ancient times great 
power must have rested with the captain of every ship ; and it is 
to be presumed, therefore, that he would take care, as a principal 
point of his naval education, to obtain a competent knowledge of 
the law or custom of the sea. The crew had to look to him only 
for their protection ; but to protect them he must have the power 
to keep them in order ; and to effect this, he must also have the 
power of punishment. 

" The seaman is willing," says Sir William Monson, in his ' Naval Tracts,' 
" to give or receive punishment deservedly, according to the laws of the sea, 
and not otherwise, according to the fury or passion of a boisterous, blas- 
phemous, swearing commander :" 

and he adds, what has only been recently ordained in our Navy — 

" Punishment is fittest to be executed in cold blood, the next day after the 
offence is committed and discovered." 

50 VOYAGE ROUND THE WORLD. [chap. hi. 

Sir William moreover specifies what the ordinary punishments 
were in his time : — 

" A captain," he says, " is allowed to punish according to the offence com- 
mitted ; to put men in the bilbows during pleasure ; keep them fasting ; duck 
them at the yard-arm ; or haul them from yard-arm to yard-arm, under the 
ship's keel ; or make them fast to the capstan, and whip them there ; or at 
the capstan or main-mast, hang weights about their necks till their hearts 
and backs be ready to break ; or to gagg or scrape their tongues for blas- 
pheming or swearing. This will tame the most rude and savage people in 
the world." 

These are indeed most brutal punishments, and such as would 
not be tolerated at the present day : and though they were in use 
in Drake's time, we have no reason to suppose that they were 
ever practised by him, or in any ship that he commanded. He 
was a mild, indulgent, and humane man, universally beloved by 
the seamen ; in all his expeditions volunteers crowded to join 
under his command. Some imperious necessity must therefore 
have governed his conduct in the case of Doughty. 

But it has been said that his putting him to death was a great 
stretch of his authority. In mutiny this has at all times been 
lawful. Sir William Monson, the highest naval authority for 
the time to whom we can appeal, tells us, that 

" a Captain under a General has lawful authority to punish offences com- 
mitted within his ship ; or if his company grow mutinous or stubborn, he 
may have recourse to the General, who will inflict more severe punishment, 
as death, if they deserve it, which no private captain can do." 

Kindness and benevolence, we repeat, were the characteristics 
of Drake's disposition ; and it is utterly impossible to believe 
that he would basely sacrifice a friend, for whom he took 
the very earliest opportunity on the voyage to show his esteem, 
by appointing him to the command of the very first prize 
they took. It is far .more probable that Doughty, from a feel- 
ing of pique and resentment at his removal from this command, 
and at the disgrace of being sent back to his former ship, may have 
contemplated the crime of which he was accused. It is also a 
string circumstance in Drake's favour that there was not any pub- 
lic feeling manifested against him or in favour of the deceased, 
either on the spot or on the return of the ship to England. Still 
some degree of mystery hangs over the whole proceeding, against 

chap, in.] VOYAGE ROUND THE WORLD. 51 

which can only be set Drake's unimpeachable character in all the 
other transactions of his life. 

In concluding the account of this event the Narrative says — 

" In the island, as we digged to bury this gentleman, we found a great 
griuding-stone, broken in two parts, which we took and set fast in the 
ground, the one part at the head, the other at the feet, building up the 
middle space with other stones, and turfs of earth ; and engraved on the 
stones the names of the parties buried there, with a memorial of our 
General's name in Latin, that it might the better be understood of all that 
should come after us." 

At Port St. Julian the Portuguese prize, the Mary, being 
leaky, was unloaded and broken up, and the fleet reduced to 
three, the Pelican, the Elizabeth, and the Marigold ; and, on 
the 20th of August, Drake came to the mouth of the Strait of 
Magelhaens, being an inland sea thick set with islands, and 
enclosed with high cliffs and mountains, which in that latitude 
render the- air extremely cold, the summits being covered with 
snow. At the Cape forming the entrance, 

" Our General," says the Narrative, " caused his fleet, in homage to our 
sovereign Lady the Queen's Majestie, to strike their topsails upon the bunt, 
as a token of his willing and glad mind, to shew his dutiful obedience to her 
highness, whom he acknowledged to have full interest and right in that new 
discovery ; and withal in remembrance of his honourable friend and 
favourer, Sir Christopher Hatton, he changed the name of the ship, which 
himself went in, from the Pelican to be called the ' Golden Hind.' Which 
ceremonies being ended, with a sermon and prayers of thanksgiving, they 
entered the narrow strait with much wind, frequent turnings, and many 
dangers. They observed on one side an island like Fogo, burning aloft in 
the air in a wonderful sort without intermission." 

The passage of this strait was a memorable event ; Drake 
having been the second person who accomplished it. 

Crooked and narrow in many places, with creeks and rivers 
branching off in all directions, the tides irregular and rapid, the 
shores steep and rocky, a burning island, like Fuego, on their 
left, flaming without intermission, peaks of snow on all sides, no 
chart to guide them in the right direction, the tide rising and 
falling thirty feet, and running like a rapid torrent, — such were 
the formidable obstacles they had to contend with ; and it is a 
remarkable fact that they passed through, in sixteen days, this 
most intricate and troublesome navigation, which, on an average, 
requires a fortnight for one of our square-rigged vessels to accom- 


52 VOYAGE ROUND THE WORLD. [chap. hi. 

plish, with all the advantages of modern knowledge, improvements 
in ships, nautical instruments, and the theory of navigation. 

Observing, near the western outlet, a cluster of three islands 
that appeared large and fruitful, the General, with some of his 
people, went on shore, and called the island they landed on 
Elizabetha, and took possession of it in the Queen's name. The 
crew amused themselves with taking penguins, of which they 
killed three thousand in one day. They observed " many fruitful 
valleys, full of grass, and herds of very strange creatures feeding 
there. The trees were green, and the air temperate, the water 
pleasant, and the soil agreeable for any of our country grain ; 
and nothing wanting to make an happy region but the people's 
knowing and worshipping the true God." Among the anomalies 
of creation, in this wild and desolate region, surmounted with ice 
and snow, were found valleys full of evergreens ; of these we may 
mention the evergreen beech-tree, and the winder # bark ; and 
above all other curiosities, in such a situation, thousands of little 

On the 6th of September (that is, in sixteen days), having passed 
the strait, they entered into the open South Sea, which, despite 
its name of Pacific, they found extremely rough and turbulent ; 
and a terrible tempest carried the fleet about a hundred leagues 
westward, and separated them. Here it is noticed, that an eclipse 
of the moon happened on the 15th of September, at six o'clock 
in the afternoon, " which," says Camden, " I note for the mathe- 
maticians' sakes." 

" It was observed also," he adds, " contrary to what some had written, that 
that part of the heaven next to the southern pole was bedecked with but 
few stars, and those of a smaller magnitude ; and that there were but only 
three of any remarkable bigness to be seen in that hemisphere, which 
England hath not beheld. But two small clouds were noticed, of the same 
colour with the Via lactea, and far distant from the pole, which the men 
called Magelhaens's clouds." 

The General now finding the health of some of the men im- 
paired, had resolved at once to hasten towards the line and the 
warm sun ; but a terrific tempest arose, and the ships were driven 
to the south of Cape Horn, and thus Drake saw the union of the 
Atlantic and Pacific oceans. On trying to regain their lost 

chap, in.] VOYAGE ROUND THE WORLD. 53 

ground, the wind still blowing strong, the Marigold, Captain 
John Thomas, parted and was no more heard of; in fact, she 
was lost, and all on board must have perished. 

On the 7th of October, the Admiral and the Elizabeth under 
slow sail stood into a bay near the western entrance of the strait, 
where they hoped to have found shelter from the bad weather ; 
but in a few hours after coming to an anchor, the cable of the 
Admiral parted, and she drove out to sea, and was thus separated 
from the Elizabeth, which remained in the port without making 
any attempt to follow her. The account given by Cliffe^ one of 
the crew of the Elizabeth, is that Winter, the next day, after 
having been in great danger among the rocks, re-entered the 
strait, and, anchoring in an open bay, made great fires on the 
shore in the hope that Drake might see them ; that he remained 
there ten days, then went further, and stayed for three weeks in 
a sound which he named " The Port of Health ;" and that then, 
being in despair both as to Drake's existence and as to favourable 
winds for Peru, he " gave over the voyage, full sore against the 
mariners' minds." Winter arrived safe in England, but he was 
censured by many for having abandoned his commander. 

The General being now left with only the little pinnace, was 
driven back once more into the latitude of 55° south, in which 
he got among some islands, perhaps some of those to the north 
of Terra del Fuego ; where the ship was anchored, and the crew 
were refreshed with wholesome herbs and good water. After 
two days, however, they were driven from their anchorage, and 
the little shallop or pinnace lost sight of the ship, nor did it 
ever again rejoin her. There were eight men in her, who had 
provisions only for one day ; they, however, reached the shore, 
procured water and roots, and in the course of a fortnight entered 
the Strait of Magelhaens. Here they salted and dried penguins, 
and proceeded to Port Julian, and thence to Rio de la Plata. There 
six of the party went into the woods to seek for food. A party 
of Indians met them, wounded them all with their arrows, and 
took four of them prisoners ; the other two escaped to their com- 
panions who had remained in the boat. They moved to an island 
two or three leagues from the shore, where the two wounded 
men died : the shallop was dashed in pieces against the rocks. 
The remaining two, Peter Curder and William Pitcher, stayed 

54 VOYAGE ROUND THE WORLD. [chap. hi. 

on this island two months, subsisting on small crabs, eels, and a 
fruit like an orange, but they had no water. The misery they 
endured for want of this indispensable necessary of life induced 
them to endeavour, by means of a plank and a couple of paddles, 
to reach the mainland. This they accomplished in three days 
and two nights, and found a rivulet of sweet water — 

" where," says Curder, " Pitcher, my only comfort and companion, (although I 
endeavoured to dissuade him,) being pinched with extreme thirst, over-drank 
himself; and, to my unspeakable grief, died within half an hour, whom I 
buried as well as I could in the sand." 

Curder, the only survivor of the party, was kindly treated by 
some Indians, and at the end of nine years returned to England. 

The Golden Hind was now left completely alone, and with a 
reduced crew. Another storm arose, and the vessel was driven 
to the very southern extremity of the American continent, and 
thus Drake was the first to discover Cape Horn. 

On the 30th of October the storm abated, and enabled Drake 
to proceed to the northward, towards the place he had appointed 
for the rendezvous of his squadron, namely in 30° south ; but 
every search for them was unavailing. He fell in with two 
islands well stocked with fowls, of which he laid in a 
quantity for the crew, and thence coasted along till he came 
to 38° ; and finding no traces of his companions, nor any con- 
venient place to anchor in, he proceeded to the island Macho. 
This island was inhabited by native Indians of the same race 
as the Patagonians of St. Julian's, whom the cruelties of the 
Spaniards had driven from the mainland. Here he intended to 
water his ship, and entered into friendly communication with the 
natives, treating them with small presents such as he thought 
might best please them. In return they presented him with 
fruits, and two sheep, and pointed out a place where he would 
obtain fresh water. 

The next morning, according to agreement, the men landed with 
their water-casks, and sent a couple of the crew forward towards 
the place. These two men were suddenly attacked by the Indians, 
and immediately slain ; and all the other persons in the boat were 
in great danger, as four or five hundred men, springing up from 
behind the rocks, discharged a volley of arrows into the boat, 
and wounded every man in her before they could get ready 

chap, in.] VOYAGE ROUND THE WORLD. 55 

their weapons ; Drake himself was shot in the face by an arrow, 
under his right eye, which pierced him almost to the brain, and 
he received another wound in the head. None of the men died 
of their wounds, although the only surgeon was a mere boy, the 
chief surgeon being dead, and the other in Winter's ship. The 
only reason which can be assigned for this treacherous conduct 
on the part of the natives was, that one of the crew having made 
use of the word aqua, they mistook them for Spaniards, against 
whom, in consequence of their cruelty and" injustice, they enter- 
tained an inveterate hatred, and rejoiced in every opportunity of 
taking revenge. 

On the 30th of November Drake dropped anchor in a bay called 
St. Philip, when a boat's crew having landed, brought away an 
Indian they had fallen in with. He was clothed in a long white 
gown, and his manners were exceedingly mild and gentle. Drake 
treated him kindly, and, dismissing him with presents, ordered 
his boat to set him safe on shore. This man gave his countrymen 
so flattering a description of the reception he had received, that 
within a few hours they came down to the boat with fowls, eggs, 
and a hog ; and one of them, who was a man of consequence 
among them, desired to be conveyed on board the English ship. 
This chief lamented that he was unable to furnish the English 
with such supplies as they stood in need of; but volunteered to 
pilot the ship to a port a little to the southward, where they could 
procure all that they wanted. Drake assented to this, and the 
man accordingly took the ship to a place named by the Spaniards 
Volpariza, where the English obtained everything they needed, 
stores, provisions, and wine; and also seized a Spanish ship, 
richly laden, which they rifled of a great quantity of gold and 
other valuables. After spending three days in taking on board 
the necessary supplies, Drake landed the Indian where he first 
came on board, after rewarding him amply for his good services. 

On the 19th of December Drake entered a bay near a town 
named Cyppo, where, as soon as he was discovered, there came 
down above one hundred Spaniards well mounted, and two hun- 
dred Indians " running as dogs at their heels, all naked, and in 
most miserable bondage." The English retreated to their boat, 
with the exception of one man, who, in a spirit of foolish daring, 
refusing to retire with the rest, was shot by the Spaniards, and 

56 VOYAGE ROUND THE WORLD. [chap. hi. 

was drawn by them in brutal triumph to the shore, his carcass 
placed in full sight of his companions, his head and hands cut 
off, the heart torn out ; and then the Indians were ordered to 
shoot their arrows- into every part of the body. 

Proceeding thence, a little further to the north, Drake found 
a convenient and quiet harbour, where he caused a pinnace 
to be set up, to enable him to search the creeks for his missing 
ships. They next landed at Tarapaca, in about 20° S. lat. ; 
where, whilst seeking for water, they found a Spaniard asleep, 
with a bundle consisting of thirteen silver bars lying by his side, 
to the value of about four thousand ducats. Drake would not 
suffer any violence to be done to the man, but allowed his people 
quietly to carry away the treasure. In another place a Spaniard 
was found driving eight Peruvian sheep, or lamas, each laden 
with a hundred pounds' weight of silver : these lamas they 
seized, and drove down to their boats. Further on was a small 
Spanish town, where the Spaniards agreed to traffic with Drake, 
and supplied him with provisions of different kinds. 

Coasting along, still in the hope of meeting with his friends, 
Drake arrived, on the 7th of February, before Arica, where he took 
two barks, on board of one of which was about eight hundred- 
weight of silver. On the 15th he arrived at Callao, the port of 
Lima, and entered the harbour without resistance, though about 
thirty ships were lying there, seventeen of which were prepared 
for their voyage. Whether these ships were manned and armed, 
or what was their size, is not stated ; but it appears most strange 
that Drake, with his single ship, should have been able to strike 
such dismay into the Spaniards, that they suffered the plunder of 
their seventeen loaded ships to be carried on without the least 
attempt at resistance. 

In one of these ships they found fifteen hundred bars of silver ; 
in another, a large chest of coined money ; and valuable lading 
in the rest, from all of which they leisurely selected what they 
pleased ; and, had they been so disposed, they might have set 
fire to the whole of the ships ; but Drake was satisfied in obtain- 
ing booty for himself and his crew, in compensation for the former 
wrongs he had received from the Spanish people. 

The General, however, in order to secure himself against an 
immediate pursuit, ordered the cables of the ships to be cut, and 

chap, in.] VOYAGE ROUND THE WORLD. 57 

let them drive. He had here received intelligence of a very rich 
ship, that was laden with gold and silver, and had sailed from 
hence just before his arrival, bound for Panama. Her name was 
the Cacafuego, and she was termed ' the great glory of the 
South Sea.' As he was in full chace of this vessel he fell in with 
and boarded a brigantine, out of which he took eighty pounds' 
weight of gold, a crucifix of the same metal, and some emeralds. 
In a few days after, near Cape St. Francis, in 1° lat., he got 
sight of the Cacafuego, about one hundred and fifty leagues from 
Panama. On coming up with her, a shot or two carried away 
one of her masts, when she was boarded and easily carried. Be- 
sides a large quantity of pearls and precious stones, they took 
out of her eighty pounds' weight of gold,' thirteen chests of 
coined silver, and rough silver enough to ballast a ship. Having 
transferred all this to the Golden Hind, the total amount of 
which was calculated at three hundred and sixty thousand pieces 
of eight, or nearly ninety thousand pounds, they let the Caca- 
fuego go. 

Standing out to the westward to avoid Panama, where pro- 
bably they considered that they were too well known, they fell 
in with another ship, from which they obtained some linen, 
cloth, porcelain dishes, and silk. The owner of this ship, a 
Spanish gentleman, was on board her, from whom Drake is said 
to have received a falcon, wrought in pure gold, with a large 
emerald set in its breast ; but whether by seizure, by purchase, 
or as a present, is not mentioned. After taking out the pilot 
for his own service, he suffered the ship to proceed on her voyage. 

He now continued his course; and keeping close to the coast 
of North America, on the 15th of April came to the port of 
Aguapulca, in latitude about 15° 30' N. Having here taken in 
some bread and other provisions, he prepared to depart north- 
wards ; but, as the Narrative says, 

" Not forgetting, before we got a shipboard, to take with us also a certain pot 
(of about a bushell in bignesse) full of ryalls of plate, which we found in the 
towne, together with a chaine of gold, and some other jewels, which we 
entreated a gentleman Spaniard to leave behind him, as he was flying out of 
the towne." 

At this place the Admiral set on shore Nuna de Silva, the 
Portuguese pilot, whom he had taken from the Cape de Yerde 

58 VOYAGE ROUND THE WORLD. [chap. hi. 

Islands, and who, on his arrival at Mexico, gave to the governor 
a narrative of all the circumstances that had happened on the 
voyage, which was correct in most particulars ; and it was pub- 
lished by Hakluyt. There was here a ship proceeding to the 
southward, and Drake, ever anxious and mindful about his miss- 
ing ships, earnestly requested the captain to search for them, 
and to take charge of a letter he had written, of which the fol- 
lowing is a copy : — 

" Master Winter, if it pleaseth God that you should chance to meete 
with the ship of Sant John de Anton, I pray you use him well, according to 
my word and promise given unto them ; and if you want any thing that is in 
this ship of Sant John de Anton, I pray you pay them double the value for it, 
which I will satisfie againe, and command your men not to doe her any 
hurt ; and what composition or agreement we have made, at my return into 
England, I will by God's helpe performe ; although I am in doubt that this 
letter will never come to your hands : notwithstanding, I am the man I have 
promised to be, beseeching God, the Saviour of all the world, to have us in 
his keeping, to whome only I give all honour, praise, and glory. 

" What I have written is not only to you, Master Winter, but also to 
M. Thomas, M. Charles, M. Caube, and M. Anthonie, with all our other 
good friends, whom I commit to the tuition of him that, with his blood, re- 
deemed us, and am in good hope that we shall be in no more trouble, but 
that he will helpe us in adversitie, desiring you, for the passion of Christ, if 
you fall into any danger, that you will not despaire of God's mercy, for he 
will defend you and preserve you from all danger, and bring us to our 
desired haven, to whom be all honour, glory, and praise, for ever and ever. 

" Your sorrowfull captain, whose heart is heavy for you, 

" Francis Drake." .. 

chap, iv.] VOYAGE ROUND THE WOELD. 59 




Drake proceeds to the Northward — A North-East Passage round America 
suggested — Intense cold — Interview with the natives of the west coast of 
North America — Drake takes possession of New Albion in the Queen's 
name— Crosses the Pacific to the Moluccas — Calls at Java — Voyage home. 

"While Drake's little bark of 100 tons, which had sustained so 
many perils, was undergoing a complete refit at Aguapulca, he 
was anxiously revolving in his mind what course it would 
best behove him to pursue. His ship was already nearly laden 
with treasure alone. In addition to this, he was about to take 
in stores and provisions for a voyage of uncertain duration, but 
which in its extent, whatever track he might pursue, was nearly 
equal to half the circumference of the globe. If he returned by 
the way he had advanced, he would have to repass Magelhaens' 
Strait ; for Cape Horn, which is now the usual route, had never 
yet been doubled ; and the Spaniards had industriously given it 
out that a return by the strait from the westward was next to 
impossible. Little did he then suppose that one of his own in- 
ferior ships had actually repassed it. Besides, he wisely con- 
sidered that his voyage, and the fame of his exploits, must have 
reached Spain, or at all events be well known throughout her 
Indian colonies ; and that the natural consequence would be the 
sending a f]eet to guard the entrance of the Strait, preparations 
for which purpose were indeed actually made. 

What then was to be done ? The people began to manifest 
signs of uneasiness : they had lost all hopes of finding their asso- 
ciates, and having become rich beyond their expectations, it was 
natural they should begin to desire ease and pleasure, and be 
anxious speedily to return home. Drake did not require much 
time to make up his mind. He had seen the two great oceans 

60 VOYAGE ROUND THE WORLD. [chap. iv. 

united at the southern extremity of America : why then should 
they not be also united at the northern ? 

This conjecture was supported by the opinion of some of 
the most learned cosmographers of the day, who had written 
to prove that a communication existed between the Northern 
Atlantic and the Pacific ; and Martin Frobisher, the friend, and 
subsequently the colleague, of Drake, had actually attempted the 
voyage, and returned at the end of 1576, a whole year before 
Drake left England — 

" highly commended," says the historian of his voyage, " of all men for his 
greate and notable attempt, but specially famous for the greate hope he 
brought of the passage to Cathaia." 

Drake boldly resolved to try whether he could not reach home 
by proceeding in a contrary direction— that is to say, by the 
North-East. He failed in the attempt, as did Cook, or rather 
the survivors of Cook, in after times ; nevertheless his anticipa- 
tions may sooner or later be realized. 

It has now been proved, beyond a doubt, that there is a clear 
water communication between the Northern Atlantic and Pacific 
Oceans, with the partial intervention of patches of ice in some 
parts of the mid -sea, and perhaps not much there. The openings 
at the two extremities in Baffin's Bay and Behring's Strait have 
been passed ; and the remaining parts consist, there is every 
reason to believe, of sea unbroken by any land. 

It is probable that the attention of Drake, even before he set 
sail from England, had been directed to the question of an eastern 
passage from the northern part of the Pacific, by which his 
return voyage would be greatly shortened. But even if the 
existence of such a communication had been actually ascertained, 
the attempt, under his circumstances, would have been a bold 
and daring undertaking. With a single small vessel, a dimi- 
nished and feeble crew, destitute of medical aid, and cut oft' 
from all communication with civilized countries, and that ship 
too containing a mine of wealth, such an attempt must be con- 
sidered as one of the most daring and courageous undertakings 
in the records of navigation : the more so as, up to that time, it 
appears never to have been contemplated that such a passage 
should be searched for on that side of America, though it is 
most likely that by taking that course it may be found. Now 

chap, iv.] VOYAGE ROUND THE WORLD. 61 

that we know that a sure and certain open passage exists through 
Lancaster Sound into Baffin's Bay, the attempt would be justi- 
fiable ; but without such knowledge it would have been madness 
to have entered Behring's Strait, without knowing what course 
to steer, or whether there was any opening at all, and in what 
quarter, to the eastward. But that it will be done from one side 
or the other may still be confidently hoped ; and among many 
individuals in the British navy well qualified for the task, there 
is one whose long-continued and most meritorious exertions in 
these regions would especially point him out as the fittest ex- 
plorer of the North- West Passage. 

The endeavour which Drake made to effect this object was 
singularly thwarted by the unexpected and very unusual severity 
of the weather at a comparatively low latitude. Fletcher's 
account of this is as follows : — 

" From Guatulco we departed the day following, namely, April the 1 6th, 
setting our course directly into the sea ; whereupon we sailed 500 leagues in 
longitude to get a wind, and between that and June 3rd, 1400 leagues in all, 
till we came in 42 degrees of north latitude, wherein the night following we 
found such an alteration of heat into extreme and nipping cold, that cur men 
in general did grievously complain thereof; some of them feeling their 
healths much impaired thereby ; neither was it that this chanced in the night 
alone, but the day following carried with it not only the marks, but the stings 
and force of the night going before, to the great admiration of us all ; for 
besides that the pinching and biting air was nothing altered, the very ropes 
of our ship were stiff, and the rain which fell was an unnatural and frozen 
substance : so that we seemed rather to be in the frozen zone than anyway so 
near unto the sun, or these hotter climates. 

" Neither did this happen for the time only, or by some sudden accident, 
but rather seemed indeed to proceed from some ordinary cause, against the 
which the heat of the sun prevails not ; for it came to that extremity, in 
sailing but two degrees further to the northward in our course, that though 
seamen lack not good stomachs, yet it seemed a question to many amongst 
us, whether their hands should feed their mouths, or rather keep themselves 
within coverts from the pinching cold that did benumb them. 

" Neither could we impute it to the tenderness of our bodies, though we 
came lately from the extremity of heat, by reason whereof we might be more 
sensible of the present cold, insomuch that the dead and senseless creatures 
were as well atfected with it as ourselves. Our meat, as soon as it was re- 
moved from the fire, would presently in a manner be frozen up ; and our 
ropes and tacklings in a few days were grown to that stiifness, that what 
three men before were able with them to perform, now six men, with their 
best strength, and utmost endeavours, were hardly able to accomplish • 

62 VOYAGE ROUND THE WORLD. [chap. iv. 

whereby a sudden and great discouragement seized upon the minds of our 
men, and they were possessed with a great mislike and doubting of any good 
to be done that way : yet would not our General be discouraged ; but as well 
by comfortable speeches of the Divine Providence, and of God's loving care 
over his children, out of the scriptures, as also by other good and profitable 
persuasions, adding thereto his own cheerful example, he so stirred them up 
to put on a good courage, and to acquit themselves like men, to endure some 
short extremity to have the speedier comfort, and a little trouble to obtain 
the greater glory ; that every man was thoroughly armed with willingness 
and resolved to see the uttermost, if it were possible, of what good was to be 
done that way. 

" The land in that part of America bearing farther out into the west than 
we before imagined, we were nearer on it than we were aware, and yet the 
nearer still we came unto it, the more extremity of cold did seize upon us. 
The 5th day of June we were forced by contrary winds to run in with the 
shore, which we then first descried, and to cast anchor in a bad bay, the best 
road we could for the present meet with, where we were not without some 
danger by reason of the many extreme gusts and flaws that beat upon us ; 
which if they ceased and were still at any time, immediately upon their 
intermission there followed most vile, thick, and stinking fogs, against which 
the sea prevailed nothing, till the gusts of wind again removed them, which 
brought with them such extremity and violence when they came, that there 
was no dealing or resisting against them. 

" In this place was no abiding for us, and to go further north, the ex- 
tremity of the cold (which had now utterly discouraged all our men) would 
not permit us, and the wind being directly against us, having once gotten us 
under sail again, commanded us to the southward whether we would or no. 

" From the height of 48°, in which now we were, to 38°, we found the 
land, by coasting it, to be but low and reasonably plain ; every hill (whereof 
we saw many, but none very high), though it were in June, and the sun in 
the nearest approach unto tbem, being covered with snow." 

" The inhabitants of this place," [he is speaking of a harbour in 38° 30' 
latitude,] " who had never been acquainted with warmer climates, in whom 
custom of cold was as it were a second nature, used to come shivering in 
their warm furs, crowding close together, body to body, to receive heat one 
from another, and to shelter themselves under lee banks ; and afterwards 
(when they became more familiar with the English) they endeavoured, as 
often as they could, to shroud themselves for warmth under the garments of 
the Englishmen." 

This account is the more extraordinary, as all our navigators, 
from Cook and Vancouver downwards, speak of the mildness of 
the Californian climate. 

All the accounts of Drake's voyage state that the natives of 
the north-west shores of America regarded him and his people 
as gods. 


" They returned our presents," says the * World Encompassed,' " because 
they thought themselves sufficiently enriched and happy that they had found 
so free access to see us. They stood as men ravished with admiration at the 
sight of such things as they had never before heard of, nor seen, seeming 
rather to reverence us as deities than mortal men." 

Drake having been driven to the southward, and finding- a con- 
venient harbour on the lYth of June, in lat. 38° 30' north — the 
land inhabited, and the houses of the natives close to the water's 
side— decided on remaining there to put his ship to rights, and 
to refresh his crew. At the moment of their arrival, numbers 
of the natives had been seen on shore, and one man came off to 
the ship in a canoe. On approaching, he made a long oration ; 
and having finished his harangue, with great show of reverence, 
returned to the shore. The ship had sprung a leak on her 
passage, which made it necessary to lighten her, and bring her 
as close to the shore as could be done with safety. Tents were 
landed for the men, and something like a fort erected for the 
protection of the stores and the crew. 

The people of the country looked on for a time : when they 
saw that the strangers were establishing themselves, they came 
down in great numbers ; but on approaching within a small 
distance, remained perfectly quiet, looking attentively at what 
was going on, and, though armed, manifested not the least 
symptom of hostile intentions. Signs were made to them to lay 
down their bows and arrows, which they at once did. The 
General, with the view of securing their good will, distributed 
little presents among them ; and they, in return, presented him 
with feathers, net-work, and skins. In the evening they returned 
quietly to their village, near a mile distant, where they kept up 
a loud clamour for some time, the women shrieking fearfully. 

" For two days," says the Narrative, "after the night mostly spent in lamenta- 
tions, none of them came near the tents ; but on the third day, a much more 
numerous assemblage than before appeared on the summit of the hill, which 
was nearest to the English fort. Here one of them made a loud and long 
oration, at the end of which they all laid down their bows and arrows, 
which they left upon the hill, and came down to the tents. The women, 
however, remained on the hill, 'tormenting themselves lamentably, tearing 
the flesh from their cheeks, whereby we perceived they were about a sacri- 
fice.' In the meantime our General with his companie went to prayer, and 
the reading of the Scriptures, at which exercise they were attentive, and 
seemed to be greatly affected with it : but when they were come unto us, 

64 VOYAGE ROUND THE WORLD. [chap. iv. 

they restored again unto us those things which before we bestowed upon 

" Presently came down from the country a great multitude, and among 
them a man of goodly stature, and comely personage, who was the King 
himself, accompanied by many tall and warlike men. Before his majesty 
advanced, two ambassadors presented themselves to the General to announce 
his approach, but continued speaking for about an hour ; at the end of which 
the Hioh or King, making as princely a show as he possibly could, with all 
his train, came forward ; in the course of which they cried continually, after 
a singing manner, with a lusty courage. As they drew nearer and nearer 
towards us, so did they more and more strive to behave themselves with a 
certain comeliness and gravity in all their actions." 

Indeed, they appear to have been a harmless and inoffensive 
people, the Chief and all the other men joining in a song, and 
moving in a kind of dance. The harmless manner of their 
approach took from the General all suspicion; and he gave 
directions for their being admitted within the enclosure of the 
tents without interruption, and they entered the fort singing 
and dancing. Amid this festivity, the King or Chief placed a 
feathered cap of net- work on the General's head, and a chain 
around his neck, and saluted him by the name of Hioh. By 
this act Drake not unreasonably supposed it was meant to con- 
vey the whole country and themselves to the new-comers ; and 
he gave them to understand, in the best way he was able, that 
he accepted them in the name, and for the use of, the Queen of 

"After they had satisfied, or rather tired themselves in this manner 
(singing and dancing, and the women tearing themselves, till the face, 
breasts, and other parts were bespatted with blood), they made signs to our 
General to have him sit down. Both the King and divers others made 
several orations, or rather, indeed, if we had understood them, supplications, 
that he would take the province and kingdom into his hand, and become 
their king and patron ; making signs that they would resign unto him their 
right and title in the whole land, and become his vassals in themselves and 
their posterities ; which, that they might make us indeed believe that it was 
their true meaning and intent, the King himself, with all the rest, with one 
consent, and with . great reverence, joyfully singing a song, set the crown 
upon his head ; enriched his neck with all their chains ; and offering unto 
him many other things, honoured him with the name of Hioh ; adding 
thereto, as it might seem, a song and dance of triumph : because they were 
not only visited of the gods, (for so they still judged us to be,) but that the 
great and chief god was now become their god, their king and patron, and 
themselves were become the only happy and blessed people in the world." 

chap, iv.] VOYAGE ROUND THE WORLD. 65 

Admiral Burney seems to have some doubt, and well he may, 
whether this ceremony was so clearly understood as to warrant 
the interpretation put upon it by the writer of the Narrative : — 

" The invariable custom," he observes, " adopted by Europeans, of 
claiming and taking formal possession of every new land they meet with, 
whether it is inhabited or uninhabited, never entering into the considera- 
tion, no doubt disposed Drake to credit (if it is true that he did credit it) 
that these people simply and for no cause, value received, or other conside- 
ration, made a voluntary gift of themselves and their country to him, a 
perfect stranger. Such is stated to have been the fact ; and against allega- 
tions of fact incredulity is no proof. 

" The English were certainly regarded by the natives here with an un- 
common degree of favour, for which two very natural reasons may be 
assigned. This part of the American continent had been visited by Juan 
Rodriguez Cabrillo, and by no other European. His interview with the 
natives was of the most friendly kind. No intervening circumstance could 
have occurred to change the nature of the impressions left by Cabrillo ; and 
this disposition, so favourable to Europeans, the conduct of Drake, friendly 
and humane towards them, confirmed."* 

The men were naked, but their bodies painted with different 
colours. They are thus described in the ' World Encompassed :' 

" They are a people of a tractable, free, and loving nature, without guile or 
treachery. Their bows and arrows would do no great harm, being weak, 
and fitter for children than for men ; and yet the men were so strong of 
body, that what two or three of our people could scarcely bear, one of them 
would take upon his back, and, without grudging, carry it up hill and down 
hill, an English mile together. The women were very obedient and service- 
able to their husbands. 

" Before we went from hence, our General caused a post to be set up on 
shore, a monument of our being there ; as also of her Majesty's and suc- 
cessor's right and title to that kingdom, namely, a plate of brass, fast nailed 
to a great and firm post ; whereon is engraven her Grace's name, and the 
day and year of our arrival there, and of the free giving up of the province 
and kingdom, both by the king and people, into her Majesty's hands; 
together with her Highness's picture and arms in a piece of sixpence, 
current English money, showing itself by a hole made of purpose through 
the plate : underneath was likewise engraven the name of our General, &c." 

To show respect to his own country, and because white cliffs 
were observed on the coast, Drake gave to all the land he had 
seen in this part of America the name of New Albion. They 
remained thirty-six days in port ; and when the time approached 

* Burney's ' South Sea Discoveries.' 

66 VOYAGE ROUND THE WORLD. [chap. iv. 

for their departure the friendly natives appeared to be deeply 
affected, and to wish for their speedy return ; and the separation 
was accompanied with every token of mutual good will towards 
each other. 

" There is reason," says Burney, " to conclude that the Port of Drake 
•was that which is now known by the name of Port San Francisco, the 
latitude of which is 37° 48'£ N. For, as the latitude given in the Famous 
Foi/age is 38° N., and in the ' World Encompassed ' 38° 30', and the lati- 
tude of Port San Francisco is 37° 48'4 N. ; there can be little doubt they 
are one and the same." Burney adds in a note — " Allowing them to be the 
same, it is remarkable that both the most northern and the most southern 
ports at which Drake anchored in the course of his voyage, should after- 
wards by the Spaniards, doubtless without any intended reference to the 
name of Francis Drake, be named San Francisco." 

Thus we may observe that this portion of the west coast of 
America was indeed discovered, and taken possession of in the 
usual manner, by an Englishman, in the name of his sovereign, 
full two hundred years before the United States of America had 
any existence ; and yet they have the modesty to lay claim to it 
on the assumption that an American discovered it some few 
years ago. But discovery, or prescription, as Queen Elizabeth 
justly said, " is little worth without actual possession." If it 
were not so, what indeed would become of our title to Australia 
and Van Diemen's Land, where a host of Dutch names stare us 
in the face? 

On the 23rd of July the Golden Hind left the western coast 
of America, and, as long as she was in sight of it, the kind 
natives kept up fires on the hills. Whatever the original inten- 
tion of Drake had been in attempting an eastern passage round 
the northern part of America, if no other motive induced him 
to abandon it, the advanced season of the year, and the extreme 
degree of cold they had already experienced in so low a latitude 
as 48°, no doubt determined him to cross the Pacific, which 
however was a long ocean voyage, as unknown to him as the 
passage of the Strait of Magelhaens had been. Fortunately, 
however, he had obtained from the master of a trading ship from 
Panama to the Philippine Islands, " a sea-card" (no doubfa 
chart of the route), and therefore the best they could do was 
to direct their course for the Philippines. 

They continued their course, without sight of any land, for 

chap, iv.] VOYAGE ROUND THE WORLD. 07 

the space of sixty-eight days ; and on the 30th of September fell 
in with certain islands lying in about 8 degrees to the northward 
of the line. The natives came off in their canoes, each hollowed 
out of a single tree, bringing cocoa-nuts, fruits, and fish. The 
first that came appeared to be well disposed ; but others acted 
dishonestly, carrying- off whatever articles were once put into 
their hands. The English therefore would have nothing to do 
with them in the way of trade ; on which, to manifest their re- 
sentment, they began to attack the ship with stones, with which 
they had provided themselves. A gun was fired over their heads, 
the noise of which frightened them ; but none being hurt they 
returned, and were more insolent than before. The patience of 
Drake was now exhausted, and he ordered some muskets to be 
fired at them ; for they could not be got rid of till they were 
made to feel some smart as well as terror. Drake gave these 
islands the name of the Islands of Thieves. Admiral Burney 
thinks, from the description of the natives, the time of the passage 
to them, and the latitude, that they are the islands which in our 
time have been called the Pellew Islands. 

Leaving these islands, they sailed westerly, from the 3rd to 
the 16th of October, without seeing any land till they made the 
Philippine Islands, and coasted them until the 21st, when they 
anchored and watered the ship at the largest of the group, 
called Mindanao ; and sailing thence about eight leagues, they 
passed between two islands south of Mindanao, and on the 3rd 
of November had sight of the Moluccas, and steered for Tidore ; 
but having received information that the Portuguese had been 
driven out of Ternate, and had taken up their quarters at Tidore, 
Drake determined to proceed to the former place. 

On anchoring at this city, the capital of the Moluccas, Drake 
sent a messenger with a velvet cloak to the King, with a request 
to be supplied with provisions, and allowed to purchase various 
kinds of spices. The King himself came off to the ship, pre- 
ceded by three large and magnificent canoes, each having eighty 
rowers, who paddled to the sound of brass cymbals. On each 
side of these canoes was a row of soldiers, every one having a 
sword, dagger, and target ; and in each there was also a small 
piece of ordnance, mounted on a stock. Drake received the King 
in great state, himself and all his officers being dressed in their 


68 VOYAGE ROUND THE WORLD. [chap. it. 

richest clothes, guns firing, and trumpets sounding. The King 
was a tall, corpulent man, with a good countenance. His 
attendants showed him great respect, speaking to him only in a 
kneeling posture. 

On taking leave, he promised to visit the General on the fol- 
lowing day, and that the ship should be supplied with provisions. 
Abundance of rice, fruits, and poultry were sent off, together 
with a small quantity of cloves. The King, however, instead of 
visiting them as he had promised, sent his brother with an excuse 
and an invitation to the General to land. This Drake declined, 
but some of his officers waited on the King, the brother being 
detained on board as a pledge for their safety. The King, who 
was covered with a profusion of gold ornaments and jewels, re- 
ceived them with much parade. 

" The King being yet absent, there sate in their places 60 grave person- 
ages, all of which were said to be of the king's counsel. There were besides 
4 grave persons, apparalled all in red, downe to the ground, and attired on 
their heads like- the Turkes, and these were said to be Romanes, and Ligiers 
there to keep continual traffike with the people of Ternate. There were 
also 2 Turks Ligiers in this place, and one Italian. The king at last came 
in guarded with 12 launces covered over with a rich canopy, with embossed 
gold. Our men, accompanied with one of their captaines called Moro, rising 
to meet him, he graciously did welcome and entertaine them. He was 
attired after the manner of the country, but more sumptuously then the rest. 
From his waste down to the ground, was all clothe of golde, and the same 
very rich : his legges were bare, but on his feet were a paire of shooes, made 
of Cordouan skinne. In the attire of his head were finely wreathed hooped 
rings of gold, and about his necke he had a chaine of perfect golde, the 
linkes whereof were great, and one folde double. On his fingers hee had 
sixe very faire' jewels, and sitting in his chair of estate, at his right hand 
stood a page with a fanne in his hand, breathing and gathering the ayre to 
the king. The fanne was in length two foote, and in breadth one foote, 
set with 8 saphyres, richly embroidered, and knit to a staffe 3 foote in 
length, by the which the page did hold, and moove it. Our gentlemen 
having delivered their message, and received order accordingly, were li- 
censed to depart, being safely conducted backe againe by one of the king's 

Drake appears to have gained by his conduct golden opinions 
from all he had to deal with here. The son of this King of 
Ternate, after the death of his father, wrote to King James, 
soliciting his friendship and aid, and said — 

" Hearing of the good report of your Majesty by the coming of the 

chap, iv.] VOYAGE ROUND THE WORLD. 69 

great Captain, Francis Drake, in the time of my father, which was about 
some fifty years past ; by the which Captain my predecessor did send a 
ring unto the Queen of England, as a token of remembrance between us ; 
which, if the aforesaid Drake had been living, he could have informed your 
Majesty of the great love and friendship of either side ; he in behalf of the 
Queen, my father for him and his successors ; since which time of the de- 
parture of the foresaid Captain, we have daily expected his return, my father 
living many years after, and daily expecting his return ; and I, after the 
death of my father, have lived in the same hope, 'til I was father of eleven 
children ; in which time I have been informed that the English were men of 
so bad disposition, that they came not as peaceable merchants, but to dis- 
possess us of our country ; which, by the coming of the bearer hereof, 
(Captain Middleton,) we have found to the contrary, which greatly we 
rejoice at, &c."* 

He then goes on to say that, as the English failed them, they 
were obliged to call in the Dutch to expel their enemies the 
Portuguese out of the forts they held at Amboyna and Tidore — 
a bad exchange for English aid, we may add, when the horrible 
massacres by the Dutch at Amboyna are called to recollection. 

What the King states in his letter, concerning the promises 
of Drake, is probably true ; for we find from Hakluyt that the 
General received many offers of friendship from the King, who 
proposed, if he would enter into a treaty of amity and commerce 
with him, that the trade of Ternate should be reserved exclu- 
sively for England. It was in fact this sovereign who dispos- 
sessed the Portuguese of the dominion they had so long enjoyed 
at Ternate. 

Drake having furnished his ship with provisions, and pro- 
cured a large supply of cloves, on the 9th of November sailed 
from the capital of the Moluccas ; and on the 1 1 th anchored at a 
small island near the eastern part of Celebes, where he repaired 
his ship. The island was uninhabited, and they remained there 
for some weeks undisturbed, erected tents, and set up a forge on 
shore. The island was one continued forest ; and most of the 
trees were large, lofty, and straight, without a branch till near 
the top. No fresh water was found on the island, but they ob- 
tained a supply from an adjoining one. 

" Among the trees night by night, through the whole land, did shew 
themselves an infinite swarm of fiery wormes flying through the ayre, whose 

Purchas — East India Voyage. 

70 VOYAGE ROUND THE WORLD. [chap. iv. 

bodies being no bigger than our common English flies, make such a shew 
and light, as if every twigge or tree had been a burning candle. In this 
place breedeth also wonderful store of bats, as bigge as large hennes ; of 
eray-fishes also heere wanted no plentie, and they of exceeding bignc-fse, 
one whereof was sufficient for four hungry stomachs at a dinner, being also 
very good and restoring meate, whereof we had experience ; and they dig 
themselves holes in the earth like conies." 

They left this island on the 12th of December, and steered 
westward ; but on their course they got so entangled among the 
small islands and shoals of the Celebes, that in order to extricate 
themselves they stood off to the southward, where there appeared 
to be a more clear sea. On the night of the 9th of January, 
1580, whilst running under all sail set, and the wind blowing 
moderately fresh, the Golden Hind all at once struck on a rocky 
shoal, and stuck fast. 

Here the ship remained firmly fixed all night. At daybreak 
every exertion was made to get her off. The water was of such 
a great depth on every side of the shoal as to make it impossible 
to heave her off by getting out an anchor. In this state of dis- 
tress the whole ship's company was summoned to prayers — 

" commending ourselves into the merciful hands of our most gracious God : 
for this purpose we presently fell prostrate, and with joined prayers sent up 
to the throne of grace, humbly besought Almighty God to extend his mercy 
unto us in his son Christ Jesus ; and so preparing, as it were, our necks 
unto the block, we every minute expected the final stroke to be given 
unto us." 

That duty performed, it was determined to lighten the ship of 
part of her lading. Three tons of cloves, eight of the guns, and 
a quantity of meal and beans, were thrown overboard, but with- 
out effect ; but although the danger was so imminent, the idea 
of lightening the ship by throwing out any of the treasure on 
board, which was the heaviest part of their cargo, appears never 
to have been entertained. Fortunately at low water, as the ship 
fell over on one side, she slipped off from the ledge of the rock, 
and floated into deep water.* 

* Fuller gives a different account ; on what authority does not appear : but 
the passage is too characteristic and too striking to be omitted: — " The ship 
struck twice on a dangerous shoal, knocking twice at the door of death, 
which no doubt had opened the third time. Here they struck, having 
ground too much, and yet too little to land on ; and water too much, and yet 

chap, iv.] VOYAGE ROUND THE WORLD. 71 

On the 14th of March they arrived at some port at the south 
side of Java, where they remained till the 26th, and procured 
every kind of supply they stood in need of. Their time was 
here passed in feasting and friendly intercourse with the native 
chiefs, who then were not fettered by any Dutch masters. 

From Java they put to sea for the Cape of Good Hope, which 
they passed without stopping, though it was the first land they 
fell in with. 

On the 22nd of July they reached Sierra Leone, on the coast 
of Africa, where they stopped two days to take in water, and ob- 
tained there oysters and fruit. On the 24th they again put to 
sea ; and on the 26th of September, 1580, 

" which," says the Narrative, " was Monday in the just and ordinary 
reckoning of those that had stayed at home, in one place or country, (but 
in our computation was the Lord's day or Sunday,) we safely, with joyful 
minds and thankful hearts to God, arrived at Plimouth, the place of our first 
setting forth, after we had spent two years, ten months, and some odd days 
beside, in seeing the wonders of the Lord in the deep, in discerning so many 
admirable things, in going through with so many strange adventures, in 
escaping out of so many dangers, and overcoming so many difficulties, in this 
our encompassing of this nether globe, and passing round about the world, 
which we have related. 

Soli rerum maximarum Effectori, 

Soli totius mundi Gubernatori, 

Soli suorum Conservatori, 

Soli Deo sit semper gloria." 

too little to sail in. Had God, who, as the wise man saith, holdeth the wine's 
in his fist, but opened his little finger, and let out the smallest blast, the;/ 
had undoubtedly been cast away : but there blew not any wind all the while. 
Then they, conceiving aright that the best way to lighten the ship was first 
to ease it of the burden of their sins by true repentance, humbled themselves 
by fasting under the hand of God : afterwards they received the communion, 
dining on Christ in the sacrament, expecting no other than to sup with him 
in heaven. Then they cast out of their ship six great pieces of ordnance : 
threw overboard as much wealth as would break the heart of a miser to 
think on 't ; with much sugar and packs of spices, making a caudle of the 
sea round about. Then they betook themselves to their prayers, the best 
lever at such a dead lift indeed ; and it pleased God that the wind, formerly 
their mortal enemy, became their friend." — Holy State, 127. 

72 DRAKE IN ENGLAND. [chap. v. 




Drake is well received at Plymouth — Neglected in London; and at the 
Court — Restored to the favour of the Queen, who visits his ship at Dept- 
ford — Confers Knighthood on him — Honours paid to the ship — Amount 
of Treasure brought home. 

As soon as Drake's arrival with his single ship at Plymouth was 
known, the inhabitants hastened in crowds to the shore to wel- 
come their old friend. On landing he was received by the 
Mayor and civic authorities, the bells of St. Andrew's church 
ringing a merry peal, which was prolonged during the whole 
day. The general joy was extreme, for after the arrival of 
Captain John Winter, who was always considered as having 
deserted him, a strong impression had arisen that some fatal 
disaster had befallen Drake. The day was spent in feasting and 
rejoicing. On the morrow his first visit was to his native 
village near Tavistock ; for this brave and right-minded man 
considered it an act of pious devotion to visit the residence of his 
old parents, in which most probably he first drew his breath, and 
from which those parents had been driven by religious persecu- 

Having been feted for some days by the authorities of Ply- 
mouth and the neighbouring gentry, he rejoined his little bark, 
the Golden Hind, which had borne him through so many perils 
and adventures, and with which, as one of the old writers ob- 
serves, " he had ploughed up a furrow round the world," and in 
her set sail for Deptford. The report of his return had of course 
preceded his appearance in London ; where not only his adven- 
tures were the topic of conversation, but the most exaggerated 
accounts were circulated as to the immense wealth he had brought 

chap, v.] DRAKE IN ENGLAND. 73 

back, and various were the opinions as to whether it had been 
lawfully and honestly acquired. But that which must have the 
most annoyed him, was the total inattention of the Court, where, 
before his departure, he had been so cordially received, and 
where his projected enterprise had met with such nattering 
encouragement. No intimation was now given that his appear- 
ance there would be acceptable ; and although the first English- 
man, and the second man of any country, who had circumnavi- 
gated the globe, he was not considered worthy of his sovereign's 
special notice. It is said, indeed, that even in less dignified 
circles the cool reception that Drake met with was too marked 
to be misunderstood ; and that some were squeamish enough to 
refuse the acceptance of any trifling curiosity at his hands, lest it 
might not have been honestly come by. Stow's account of the 
matter is not uninteresting. He says, in his Chronicles — 

" The newes of this his great wealth so far fetcht, was miraculous strange, 
and of all men held impossible and incredible, but both proving true, it 
fortuned that many misliked it and reproached him : besides all this there 
were others that devised and divulged all possible disgraces against Drake 
and his followers, deaming him the master thiefe of the unknowne world ; 
yet neverthelesse, the people generally, with exceeding admiration, ap- 
plauded his wonderful long adventures and rich prize, chiefly for some such 
reasons following. 

" The Queene, not yet persuaded to accept and approve his unknowne 
purchase, paused a while and heard every opinion, which at that time were 
many ; the principal points whereof were, that if this action of Drake should 
be justified, it would call in question the late piracy of Captayne Christ- 
masse : the staying of the Spanish king's treasure by Martine Frobisher : 
hinder commerce : break the league : raise reproach : breede warre with the 
house of Burgundy : and cause imbargo of the English shippes and goodes 
in Spayne. Whereunto answer was made, that it was neither prize, nor 
piracy, nor civill policy, to cast so much treasure out of their possession : 
neither could any prince or private subject rightly challenge it : nor by it 
any offence committed, or intended to any christian prince or state. 

" And that it was very necessary to retaigne it, as well for further triall 
of the Spanish malice, shewed to the English merchants in Spayne ; as for 
the descrying of secret enemies at home, against both which, it would prove 
a present remedy : as also that if warres ensued, which the Spanyards long 
threatened, then the same treasure of itself would fully defray the charge of 
seaven yeares warres, prevent and save the common subject from taxes, 
loanes, privy seals, subsidies and fifteenes, and give them good advantage 
against a daring adversary : the which said opinion strongly prevayled. 

" Yet Captaine Drake, all this while, being therewithal, and by his friends 

74 DRAKE IN ENGLAND. [chap. v. 

much encouraged, rested doubtful of the event, untill the day that the 
Queen's Majesty came aborde his weather-beaten barke ; where being as 
highly graced as his heart coulde wish, with knightly honors, princely com- 
mendations and encouragements, he forthwith visited his friendes in courte, 
towne and countrey, his name and fame became admirable in all places, the 
people swarming dayly in the streets to beholde him, vowing hatred to all 
that durst mislike him. Books, pictures and ballades were published in 
his prayse, his opinion and judgment concerning marine affayres stoode cur- 

It must be noticed, however, that Drake had for five months 
been held in suspense, as to the view which the Queen would 
take of the business, upon which, of course, his future fame 
would mainly depend. He was now, however, to be highly 
honoured and amply gratified. 

" They came home into England," continues Stow, " in the year 1580 ; 
and in the year next following, to wit, 1581, on the 4th of April, her Ma- 
jesty dining at Deptford, after dinner entered the ship which Captain Drake 
had so happily guided round about the world, and being there, a bridge 
which her Majesty had passed over, brake, being upon the same more than 
two hundred persons, and no man hurt by the fall ; and there she did make 
Captain Drake knight, in the same ship, for reward of his service ; his 
armes were given him, a ship on the world, which ship, by her Majestie's 
commandment, is lodged in a dock at Deptford, for a monument to all pos- 
terity, of that famous and worthie exploite, whereof a worshipfull gentle- 
man, Maister William Borough, in his preface - to a book entitled ' A dis- 
course of 'the variation of the compasse or ma gnetical needle,' hath these 
words : ' So now at length (saith he) our countrieman Sir Francis Drake, 
for valorous attempt, prudent proceeding, and fortunate performing his 
voyage about the world, is not only become equal to any of them that live, 
but in fame farr surpassing.' " 

The Queen, it appears, commanded that the Golden Hind 
should be preserved, as a striking monument of Drake's services 
and his country's glory ; and for a long series of years it re- 
mained in Deptford dock-yard as an object of curiosity and 
admiration. When it was too far decayed to receive repairs, a 
sufficient quantity of sound wood was selected out of it, and 
converted into a chair, which was presented to the University of 
Oxford, with the following appropriate verses written by the 
celebrated Cowley: — 

14 To this great ship which round the globe has run, 

And match'd in race the chariot of the sun ; 

This Pythagorean ship, (for it may claim, 

Without presumption, so deserv'd a name,) 

chap, v.] DRAKE IN ENGLAND. 75 

By knowledge once, and transformation now, 

In her new shape, this sacred port allow. 

Drake and his ship could not have wish'd from fate 

An happier station or more blest estate. 

For lo ! a seat of endless rest is given 

To her in Oxford, and to him in heaven." 

Among other verses in praise of the circumnavigator the 
following, said to be written by some of the scholars of Win- 
chester School, were set up upon the main-mast of the Golden 
Hind :— 

" Plus ultra, Herculeis inscribas, Drace, columnis, 

Et magno dicas Hercule major ero. 
Drace, pererrati novit quern terminus orbis, 

Quemque semel mundi vidit uterque Polus, 
Si taceant homines, facient te sidera notum ; 

Sol nescit Comitis non memor esse sui. 
Digna ratis quae stet radiantibus inclyta stellis ; 

Supremo cceli vertice digna ratis." 

"But these things," says Camden, "may seem too light, and to proceed 
from an idle brain, and not beseeming the gravity of an historian." 

This grave historian, however, deals in queer stories occa- 
sionally. Speaking, in his 'Britannia/ of the shire of Buchan, 
in Scotland, he says — 

" It is hardly worth while to mention the clayhs, a sort of geese, which are 
believed by some, with great admiration, to grow upon trees on this coast, 
and in other places ; and, when they are ripe, to fall down into the sea, be- 
cause neither their nests nor eggs can anywhere be found. But they who 
saw the ship in which Sir Francis Drake sailed round the world, when it 
was laid up in the river Thames, could testify that little birds bred in the old 
rotten keels of ships, since a great number of such, without life and feathers, 
stuck close to the outside of the keel of that ship. Yet I should think that 
the generation of these birds was not from the logs of wood, but from the 
sea, termed by the poets, • the parent of all things.' " 

Camden evidently was not acquainted with the fact of there 
being a barnacle shell,'as well as barnacle goose. 

It would appear that after a time the Golden Hind became a 
resort of holiday people, the cabin being converted into a sort of 

Among the indiscriminate captures that Drake had made there 
was a considerable amount of property belonging to private 
individuals, and he could not doubt that, as soon as it should be 

76 DRAKE IN ENGLAND. [chap. y. 

discovered he had returned home, these individuals personally, or 
through their agents, would attack him for indemnification ; and 
such very shortly was the case. The Spanish Ambassador, Don 
Barnardin de Mendoza, was instructed by his Government to 
make representations to Queen Elizabeth regarding the enormi- 
ties committed by Drake in his late voyage, and the depreda- 
tions on the inhabitants of the territories in America, which 
belonged exclusively to his nation ; and to demand, in the name 
of his Sovereign, full restitution for the property so seized, and 
punishment of the offender. Mendoza carried his insolent 
demand to such a length, as to imply that the English had no 
right to navigate the Indian Ocean. To whom the Queen re- 
turned this spirited reply : — 

" That the Spaniards, hy their ill treatment of her subjects, to whom they 
had prohibited commerce, contrary to the law of nations, had drawn these 
mischiefs upon themselves. That Drake should be forthcoming to answer 
according to law, if he were convicted by good evidence and testimony to 
have committed anything against law and right. That the goods in question 
were purposely laid by, that satisfaction might be made to the Spaniards, 
though the Queen had spent a greater sum of money than Drake had brought 
in, against those rebels whom the Spaniards had raised and encouraged 
against her, both in Ii-eland and England. Moreover, she understood not 
why her, or any other Prince's, subjects should be debarred from the Indies, 
which she could not persuade herself the Spaniards had any just title to, by 
the Bishop of Rome's donation (in whom she acknowledged no prerogative, 
much less authority, in such cases, so as to lay any tie upon Princes which 
owed him no obedience or observance, or, as it were, to infeoffe the Spaniard 
in that new world, and invest him with the possession thereof), nor yet by 
any other claim, than as they had touched here and there upon the coasts, 
built cottages, and given names to a river or a cape ; which things cannot 
entitle them to a propriety. So that this donation of that which is another 
man's, which is of no validity in law, and this imaginary propriety, cannot 
hinder other princes from trading into those countries, and, without breach 
of the law of nations, from transporting colonies into those parts thereof 
where the Spaniards inhabit not (forasmuch as prescription without posses- 
sion is little worth), neither from freely navigating that vast ocean, seeing 
the use of the sea and air is common to all. Neither can a title to the ocean 
belong to any people, or private persons : forasmuch as neither nature nor 
public use and custom permitted any possession thereof." 

A certain sum of money was however ordered to be paid by 
Drake to a person of the name of Pedro Lebura, whom the Am- 
bassador presented as an accredited agent for certain individuals, 
who had made good their claims on account of private property. 

CHAP. V.] 



This money, it afterwards turned out, was never paid to the 
proper owners ; but was, by order of the King, employed against 
Elizabeth in paying the Spaniards serving in the Netherlands. 

What the sum was does not appear ; but there is a minute of 
the Lord High Treasurer of certain sums of money paid by Sir 
Francis Drake into the Royal Mint, of which the following is a 
copy extracted from the State Papers of Lord Burleigh : — 
" A Briefe Note of all such Silver Bullion as was brought into the Tower by 

Sir Fras. Drake, Knight, and laid in the Vaute under the Jewel-House, 

as also what hath been taken out, and what remaineth, (viz.) 26 Dec., 

1585 :— 


22, 899 


£. i 


In ingots of silver, being fine and coarse") 
by tale, G50, which waieth in gross weight) 

More in small pieces called corento, 
which is coarse silver that hath been ga- 
thered in the mines without refining and 
melting thereof, weighing in gross weight 

There hath been coyned, as by her Ma-\ 
jesty's Warrant appeareth, for the Right! 
Hon. Sir Christopher Hatton, knight, to the j 
sum of . . . . .J 

Item, As by another Warrant of her 
Majesty, there hath been coyned for the 
Right Hon. Sir Fras. Walsingham, knight, 
to the sum of .... 

Item, by another of her Majesty's War-1 
rants there hath been coyned for the Right > 4,000 
Hon. the Earl of Leicester, to the sum of . J 

Item, there is refined and molten of the )„„ ro . , r 
said silver into clean ingotts to the sum of J ' " ° 

Totall Sum taken out of the vaute is / 

More in gold bullion brought in by the said Sir Fras. 
Drake, knight, in cakes and ingotts of severall fines, weigh- 
ing 101 lb. loz., which said gold is refined, molten and 
coyned into 30s. and 15s. pieces, the charges being deducted 
to the sum of 

There remaineth in coarse ingotts of silver in the vaute 
under the Jewel-House, by tale, 243, which are to be refined 
and molten, weighing in gross weight .... 

More remaineth in the said vaute, the small pieces called ] 
corento, which is coarse silver as above said, weighing in > 
gross weight * . . . . . . . .J 

* Burleigh's State Papers. 


23,411 11 

39.925 15 9 

s. d. 





78 DRAKE IN ENGLAND. [chap. v. 

The following- passage occurs in Purchas : — 

" Captain Drake carried from the coast of Peru, eight hundred sixtie-six 
thousand pieces of silver, -which is eight hundred sixty-six kintals, at a hun- 
dred pound waight the kintal, and every kintal is worth twelve hundred 
duckets of Spaine, which is a million, thirty-nine thousand and two hundred 
duckets. Besides this, he carried away a hundred thousand pieces of gold, 
which is ten kintals, and every kintal is worth fifteen hundred duckets of 
Spain, which amounteth to a hundred and fiftie thousand duckets, besides 
that which he had in the ship that was not customed, which I do not know 
of; as well pearls, precious stones, and other things of great value, besides 
the money he had in coine." 

Whether the money mentioned by Purchas be any part of the 
bullion adverted to in the preceding account would probably be 
shown by the inaccessible documents of the Lord Treasurer 
at Hatfield House. We see by this account in what manner 
something above 10,000/. was disposed of, but there is no state- 
ment showing how the balance of 29,6251. was accounted for, 
nor of the additional gold and silver brought in by Drake, 
amounting to about 27,160/., and which, taken together, amounts 
to the sum of 56,800/., or thereabouts. It is not clear, however, 
that any part of this was appropriated to meet the claim of the 
Spanish agent, who nevertheless did, from some fund or other, 
receive and misapply a certain sum of money ; nor does it appear 
that all or any part of it was restored to Drake. 

There is, however, an old volume, ' The Merchant's Mappe of 
Commerce, by Lewes Roberts,' printed in 1638 ; and now very 
little known, but highly esteemed at the time, which states the 
amount of profit obtained by the adventurers who assisted in 
fitting out and joining Drake's expedition. The volume is 
dedicated to Sir Maurice Abbot, Governor of the East India 
Company, and Mr. Alderman Garraway, Governor of the Levant 
Company ; of both which Companies Mr. Roberts was a mem- 
ber. He says — 

" This voyage made profit to himself (Drake) and merchants of London, 
his partners and fellow-adventurers, according to an account made up at his 
return, all charges paid and discharged, which I have seen, subscribed under 
his own hand, 47/. for l/. ; so that he who adventured with him in this 
voyage 100/., had 4700/. for the same, by which may be gathered the benefit 
that redounded thereby ; though accompanied with many rubbes, delaies and 
dangers."* _____ 

* Communicated by Mr. Bolton Corney, from whom much valuable in- 
for aiation has been received by the Author. 

chap, v.] DRAKE IN ENGLAND. 79 

It does not appear that any inquiry was made, after Drake's 
arrival in England, regarding the extraordinary trial and execu- 
tion of Doughty at Port St. Julian. The whole affair must have 
been well known at home from the report of Captain Winter and 
his ship's crew ; and if, during the five months that Drake was 
excluded, as it were, from the Court, and various attempts were 
made to disparage his fame, no case was got up against him on 
the score of this transaction, we may consider him to have been 
fully acquitted in public opinion of any impropriety in the pro- 
ceedings regarding this unfortunate business. 

Prince, in his ' Worthies of Devon,' gives the following 
story, which, although it appears to be unsupported by any evi- 
dence, and is highly improbable, has obtained so great a degree 
of credit that we do not deem it right to pass it by unnoticed : — 

" It was about this time," says Prince, " that there fell out a contest be- 
tween Sir Bernard Drake, and the immortal Sir Fras. Drake : chiefly occa- 
sioned by Sir Francis his assuming Sir Bernard's coat of arms, not being 
able to make out his descent from his family ; a matter in those days, when 
the court of honour was in more honour, not so easily digested. The feud 
hereupon increased to that degree that Sir Bernard, being a person of a high 
spirit, gave Sir Francis a box on the ear ; and that within the verge of the 
court. For which offence he incurred her Majesty's displeasure ; and most 
probably it proved the occasion of the Queen's bestowing upon Sir Fras. 
Drake a new coat of everlasting honour to himself and posterity for ever ; 
which hath relation to that glorious action of his, the circumnavigating the 
world, which is thus emblazoned by Guillim : 

" Diamond, a fess wavy, between the two pole-stars, artic and antartic, 
pearl ; as before. 

" And what is more, his crest is a ship on a globe under ruff, held by a 
cable rope with a hand out of the clouds ; in the rigging whereof is hung up 
by the heels a wivern gules, Sir Bernard's arms ; but in no great honour, we 
may think, to that knight, though so designed to Sir Francis. Unto all 
which Sir Bernard boldly replied : ' That though her Majesty could give him 
a nobler, yet she could not give an antienter coat than his.' 

" This relation, I had from Sir John Drake, of Trill, knight and baronet, 
my honourable godfather." 

This story is as absurd as it is improbable. Sir Francis Drake 
was not the man to be struck with impunity, nor was Elizabeth 
the woman to have rewarded him had he done so. Drake's arms 
were given to him immediately after his knighthood in 1581 : 
over the globe was the motto Auxilio divino, and underneath the 
words Sic parvis magna. The fact probably was, that Sir Francis 

80 DRAKE IN ENGLAND. [chap. v. 

Drake, being ignorant of the family arms, asked his relation Sir 
Bernard for such information as the Heralds' College required. 

Some time after Drake's return from his circumnavigation 
voyage, he received the following letter from Davis, the cele- 
brated Arctic voyager: — 

" Right honourable, most dutifully craving pardon for this my rash bold- 
ness, I am hereby, according to my duty, to signify unto your honor that 
the north-west passage is a matter nothing doubtful ; but at any time almost 
to be passed by a sea navigable, void of ice ; the ice tolerable, the waters 
very deep. I have also found an isle of very great quantity, not in any 
globe or maps discovered, yielding a sufficient trade of furs and leather. 
Although this passage hath been supposed very improbable, yet, through 
God's mercy, I am in experience an eye witness to the contrary ; yea, in the 
most desperate climates, which, by God's help, I will very shortly more at 
large reveal unto your honor, so soon as I can possibly take order for my 
mariners and shipping. Thus depending upou your honor's good favour, I 
most humbly commit you to God. This 3rd October. 

" Your honor's for ever 
" Most dutiful, 

(Signed) " John Davis." 

Strype, in introducing this letter, says — 

" I have one note more to make of one Davys, a mariner, sometime be- 
longing to Sir Francis Drake, who being employed to find out a north-west 
passage into those seas in that part of the world, came back this year (in 
1585), and upon his return, in a letter, acquainted the said Drake with some 
account of those seas, and how navigable they were. The letter shewing the 
first discovery of that passage, and wrote to so eminent a seaman, may de- 
serve to be preserved, and is, as I take it from the original, to this tenor." 

From this statement it is probable that Davis had served 
under Drake, and perhaps on the circumnavigation voyage, 
when the latter contemplated a passage from the Pacific to the 
Atlantic ; which was at the time, and has been since, so vigorously 
attempted in a contrary direction by Frobisher, Davis, Baffin, 
Gilbert, and many others — " men," as old Purchas describes 
them, " of heroike courage, marine worthies, beyond all names 
of worthinesse." The Straits which Davis discovered still bear 
his name. 

Drake was always kind to his followers, and ever ready to 
assist them. The following letter, among many others, affords 
proof of this : — 

chap, v.] DRAKE IN ENGLAND. 81 

" Good Mr. Doctor Coesar, 

" This bearer, Roger Roffe, is like to have some cawse in question before 
you : it is supposed that he hath wronge, therefore I presume the rather to 
intreat your favour towards him, prayinge that for my sake you will shew yt 
in his behalf, being willinge, in that he will becom one of my companie to 
steed him in any honest cawse. And so with my right hertie commendations 
do bid you farewell. 

" From your father's howse in Chepside, this 24 June, 1585. 

" Your assured friend, 

" Fra : Drake.* 
" To the Worshipful my very 

" lovinge friend, Mr. Doctor Caesar, 
" Judge of the Admiraultie. 
** With speede." 

Sir Francis remained on shore for the next four or five years, 
but not without active employment. In 1582 he was mayor of 
Plymouth ; but the records of that place contain no entries of 
any transactions during his mayoralty beyond the ordinary 
routine of business, unless his " having caused the compass to be 
put upon the Hoe," and having put in execution the order for 
wearing scarlet gowns, be considered such. 

* Lansdowne MSS., British Museum. 



drake's voyage to the west indies. 


Drake receives command of a Squadron — Sir Philip Sydney — The squadron 
and troops employed — Land on the island of St. Jago — Attack on St. Do- 
mingo — And on Cartagena — Sickness in the fleet — The intention of tak- 
ing Nombre de Dios and entering the Isthmus abandoned— Destroy 
St. Augustine — Return homewards — Call at Virginia — Bring away the 
Governor and Colonists, who abandon the Colony — Introduction of To- 

The complete success of the circumnavigation voyage gave an 
additional spur to the military spirit of England, — eager to 
humble the arrogant pretensions of Spain, and punish the authors 
of the cruelties inflicted on our countrymen in her Indian pos- 
sessions. Her Majesty, who had been greatly pleased with the 
result of that voyage, now, as a proof of her good opinion, ad- 
vanced Sir Francis Drake to the rank of Admiral ; and signified 
her pleasure that he should take the command of a fleet, which 
she destined for the West Indies. She had strong motives for 
adopting this measure : she was well aware that the treaty she 
had just concluded with the United Netherlands would be con- 
sidered by the King of Spain as little short of a declaration of 
war, and that she ought to be prepared accordingly. He had, in 
fact, already laid an embargo upon all the English ships, goods, 
and men found within his territories, which was in itself a 
hostile measure, and the first step towards a declaration of war. 
The Queen was moreover fully aware what little chance there 
was of restitution, or of obtaining any satisfaction for her sub- 
jects whose property had been seized, unless she adopted hostile 
measures ; and therefore she wisely resolved to attack the King 
of Spain in the West Indies, from /whence his chief supplies 
were derived. 


" The Queen and kingdom," says Strype, " had the greatest apprehensions 
from abroad of the King of Spain : with whom she could obtain no good 
understanding : and of whom especially it concerned her to beware, consi- 
dering his power, which at that time was formidable ; and thus set forth by 
our historian (Camden :) ' All the Princes of Italy were at his beck : the 
bishop of Rome was wholly addicted and engaged to him ; the Cardinals 
were, as it were, his vassals ; all the ablest persons, for matters both of war 
and peace, were his pensioners. In Germany, the house of Austria, a house 
extending and branching far and wide, and other houses allied unto the 
same by marriages, did, as it were, attend upon him and his service. His 
wealth also and his strength were so much increased, both by sea and land, 
since the late addition of Portugal and East India, that he was far more 
powerful and formidable than ever his father Charles V. was. And if he 
should once reduce the Netherlands under his power, there was nothing to 
hinder, but that the rest of the princes of Christendom must of necessity 
stoop to his greatness, unless it were prevented.' 

" This powerful prince then the Queen had to deal with. It was judged 
therefore the best course to favour the Netherlanders, with whom he was 
now at war, and towards whom he had exercised great barbarities. It was 
now under deliberation concerning the doing of this weighty matter. The 
lord-treasurer had consulted with Hawkins, a brave seaman and treasurer of 
the Navy, upon this affair ; and what means might be used in this under- 
taking, requiring to know his thoughts thereof. He soon after showed that 
statesman, in writing, the means to offend that king, and the reasons to main- 
tain that faction." 

The King of Spain's hostility to England was avowed, and he 
had, as it were, thrown down the gauntlet. The Queen there- 
fore saw plainly that nothing was left to meet this insolence but 
to authorize all such of her subjects as had suffered from the 
measures taken by Spain, and all others who might feel disposed 
to resent the hostile proceedings of that nation, to be furnished 
with letters of marque and reprisal, with power to seize all 
ships and merchandise, wherever found, belonging to the subjects 
of the King of Spain. At the same time she ordered a powerful 
fleet of her own ships to be equipped. The whole of this arma- 
ment was to be employed under the command of Sir Francis 
Drake, whom, from his experience and success in naval matters, 
she considered as the fittest officer in her dominions to strike a 
blow against Spain. 

On this occasion a volunteer presented himself, whose offer 
Drake could neither well reject nor prudently accept. This was 
no less a person than the gallant and most accomplished Sir 
Philip Sydney, the friend and favourite of Queen Elizabeth, of 



whom one about the Court said, when he was about to leave her 
on another occasion, " that she was afraid to lose the jewel of 
her times." In a life of this celebrated man, written by his 
friend Sir Fulke Grevil (Lord Brooke), it is stated that this 
expedition was of Sir Philip's own projecting — 

" Wherein he fashioned the whole body with purpose to become the head of 
it himself. — I mean the last employment but one, of Sir Francis Drake to 
the West Indies, which journey, as the scope of it was mixt both of sea and 
land service, so had it accordingly distinct officers and commanders, chosen 
by Sir Philip out of the ablest governors of those martial times." 

He then tells us that it was arranged between themselves, that 
he and Sir Francis should be equal commanders when they had 
left England ; that the preparations should be made in the name 
of Sir Francis, and that everything should be abundantly supplied 
by the credit of Sir Philip. All this, however, was to be kept 
secret, as Sir Philip well knew it would be next to impossible 
to obtain the Queen's consent to his taking an employment so 
remote and of so hazardous a nature ; but when once it was 
ready, he presumed " the success would put envy and all her 
agents to silence." And Sir Francis, on his part, " found that Sir 
Philip's friends, with the influence of his excellent inward powers, 
would add both weight and fashion to his ambition ; and conse- 
quently, either with or without Sir Philip's company, yield un- 
expected ease and honour to him on this voyage." 

The preparations went on : everything that Drake required 
was at once procured. He repaired to Plymouth, and waited 
only the arrival of Sir Philip to put to sea. At length the 
gallant knight arrived at Plymouth, and was feasted the first 
night by Sir Francis, with a great deal of pomp and compliment. 

"Yet, I," says Lord Brooke, "being his [Sydney's] loving and beloved 
Achates in this journey, observing the countenance of this gallant mariner, 
more than Sir Philip's leisure served him to do, acquainted him with my 
observation of the discountenance and depression which appea:*ed in Sir 
Francis ; as if our coming were both beyond his expectation and desire." 

Lord Brooke's conjecture might probably have been correct. 
Drake might not much relish such high company, and might in 
fact be playing a game assigned to him. 

" For," says Lord Brooke, " within a few days after, a post steals up to 
the court, upon whose arrival an alarm is presently taken ; messengers sent 


away to stay us, and, if we refused, to stay the whole fleet. The Queen in 
her affection, conveyed her royal mandate by a peer of the realm, carry- 
ing with it in the one hand, grace, and in the other, thunder." 

How Drake contrived to settle this ticklish affair does not 
appear. It is not improbable that lie was all the while in com- 
munication with Sir Francis Walsingham, or some other person 
at Court ; and that he was desired to indulge the scheme of the 
romantic knight until the expedition should be ready to depart. 
Everything in fact had been already settled as to the officers and 
men, and the preparations were completed. The fleet consisted 
of twenty-one sail jof ships (some say twenty -five sail) and pin- 
naces," and had on board two thousand seamen and soldiers. 

The principal officers were — 

Sir Francis Drake, 

Admiral or General. Elizabeth Bonaventura. 

Thos. Fenner, his Captain. 
Martin Frobisher, 

Francis Knollis, 

Rear- Admiral. 

To whom were added— 


> Primrose. 

j- Gallion, Leicester. 

Lieutenant-General Carleill, Tyger. 

(This officer had the command of the troops, with one major, three cor- 
porals of the field, and ten captains under him.) 

The other ships were probably taken up as transports. Al- 
though Drake was the chief, or General, of the expedition, yet 
the military part of the operations, of course, devolved upon 
Lieutenant-General Carleill ; and in point of fact the whole 
account of their proceedings, as given in Hakluyt, is taken from 
the narrative drawn up partly by Captain Walter Biggs, who 
died on the voyage, and completed by Lieutenant Cripps, who 
gave it to Lieutenant Cates, to be prepared by him for pub- 
lication — all three being officers of the army serving in the 
Lieutenant-General's company. 

On the 14th of September, 1585, the expedition left Plymouth ; 
and near the coast of Spain fell in with several French ships 
of small burthen, mostly laden with salt ; one of which, having 
no person in her, the General took for the use of the fleet. To 
this bark he gave the name of Drake, and on his return paid her 


value to the owners. A few days after this they fell in with a 
stout Spanish ship, having- on board a great quantity of dry New- 
foundland fish, which the sailors called "Poor John" that was 
of great use during the voyage. 

Coming before JBayonne, a message was sent to the Governor 
to ask if there was war between Spain and England, and why 
our merchants were embargoed and arrested ? Being satisfied 
on these points, and receiving from the Governor a present of 
bread, wine, oil, apples, grapes, and marmalade, they took their 
leave, but had scarcely returned to their ships before a storm 
arose which scattered the fleet. 

Being again collected, they sent their pinnaces to see what 
might be done above the harbour of Vigo ; where they succeeded 
in taking several boats and caravels laden with things of small 
value. One, however, had on board it " stuff of the high church 
or cathedral of Vigo, among which was a cross of silver doubly 
gilt, having cost a great mass of money." 

The Spaniards declared that the property taken here amounted 
in value to thirty thousand ducats. 

At Palma, in the Canary Islands, " by the naughtinesse of 
the landing place, well furnished with great ordnance, we thought 
fit to depart with the receipt of many of their cannon shot, some 
into our ships, and some of them besides being in very deed full 
cannon high." * But their calling first at Bayonne was im- 
prudent, as it had enabled the Governor of that place to send a 
dispatch to their several possessions, to warn them of the ap- 
proach of the English force, the strength of which he greatly 

At Ferro they found the inhabitants so poor that they 
spared them; and proceeding to the Cape de Verde Islands, 
anchored near Porta Pray a (which is called Playa by Cates), 
where they put on shore a thousand men. Here they dallied for 
fourteen days, between the towns of St. Jago and Porta Praya, 
two wretched Portuguese villages. The Governor, the Bishop, 
and the better sort, all ran away into the mountains ; and the 
only booty obtained was two pieces of ordnance, one of iron and 
one of brass. The inhabitants met with one of the English boys 
straggling, whom they killed, and mangled in a brutal manner ; 

* Cates. 


in revenge of which the expedition consumed with fire all the 
houses, as well in the country as in the town of St. Jago, the 
hospital excepted, which was left uninjured. 

The Portuguese had their revenge : for before the fleet was 
taany.days at sea a fatal sickness broke out among the people, 
occasioned doubtless by the long stay at that most unhealthy 
place St. Jago, and between two and three hundred men died. 
They are described as having been marked with small spots like 
those which appear in the plague. They next proceeded to 
Dominica, which they reached in eighteen days. The island was 
at this time inhabited by a savage people (the Caribs), who were 
naked, having their skins painted ; they were well - made, hand- 
some and strong, very civil, and ready to assist in watering the 
ships. That being done, the fleet made sail for St. Christopher's, 
where they refreshed the men with what they could find, and 
spent their Christmas ; but saw no inhabitants, and had reason to 
believe there were none on the island. 

A council being held, it was decided they should next proceed 
to the great island of Hispaniola, being allured thither by 
the lame of the city of St. Domingo, the most ancient and 
chief place in all that region. On arriving there, they were in- 
formed that the Spaniards were in great force in that quarter, 
particularly at St. Domingo. On new year's day, by the advice 
of a pilot whom they had captured in a frigate, they landed twelve 
hundred men at a convenient spot, about ten or twelve miles 
from the city. The General, after seeing all the men safely 
landed, returned to the fleet, " bequeathing them to God and 
the good conduct of Maister Carleill." 

On approaching the town, about a hundred and fifty horsemen 
came out to oppose them ; but were received by the invaders so 
gallantly, with pikes and small shot, that they retreated hastily 
within the two seaward gates, both of which were manned and 
planted with ordnance, and other troops were placed in ambus- 
cade by the road side. Carleill divided his force into two parties, 
giving Captain Powell the command of one division. It was 
settled that they were to enter at both gates at the same time, 
the General swearing to Powell " that with God's good favour 
they would not rest till they met in the market-place." Powell 
with his company pushed through one of the gates, and the 


General through the other ; and after some fighting they both 
gained the market-place, or square, in which was the great 
church. Here they quartered themselves ; and by making 
trenches and planting ordnance, held the town for the space of 
a month without loss. One day, however, the General had 
occasion to send a message to the Spaniards by a negro boy 
carrying a flag of truce : an officer of the King of Spain's galley 
meeting the boy, struck him through the body with a staff, and 
the poor fellow, having crawled back to the General, and told 
him what had happened, died on the spot. 

" The General," says Cates, " being greatly passioned, commanded the 
provost martial to cause a couple of Fryars, who were among his prisoners, 
to be carried to the same place where the boy was stricken, accompanied 
with a sufficient guard of our soldiers, and there presently to be both hanged, 
despatching at the instant another poor Spanish prisoner, with the reason 
wherefore this execution was done ; and with this message further, that until 
the party, who had thus murthered the General's messenger, were delivered 
into our hands, to receive condign punishment, there should no day passe, 
wherein there should not two prisoners be hanged, until they were all con- 
sumed, which were in our hands." 

The murderer of the boy was delivered up the next day, and 
the General compelled the Spaniards to execute him with their 
own hands. 

The English demanded a ransom for the city ; and as the in- 
habitants were very slow in coming to terms, every morning, for 
several successive days, the suburbs were set on fire. 

" But the invaders," says Cates, " found it no small travail to ruin them, 
being very magnificently built of stone, with high lofts. Two hundred sailors 
from daybreak till nine o'clock, when the next began, did nothing but labour 
to fire these houses ; yet we did not consume so much as one-third part of 
the town ; and so in the end, what wearied with firing, and what hastened 
by some other respects, we were glad to take, and they at length agreed to 
pay, a ransom of five and twenty thousand ducats. In the gallery of their 
King's house, there was painted, on a very large escutcheon, the arms of the 
King of Spain, and in the lower part of the 'scutcheon a terrestrial globe, con- 
taining upon it the whole circuit of the sea, and the earth, whereon is a horse 
standing on his hind legs as in the act of leaping from it, with a scroll pro- 
ceeding from his mouth, whereon was written, ' Non sufiicit Orbis' We 
looked upon this as a very notable mark and token of the unsatiable am- 
bition of the Spanish king and nation, and did not refrain from pointing it 
out to the Spaniards, who were sent to negociate with us ; nor from sarcas- 
tically enquiring what was meant by such a device ? at which they would 


shake their heads and turn aside their faces, in some smiling sort, without 
answering any thing, as if ashamed thereof." 

Having amply supplied themselves with strong wine, sweet 
oil, vinegar, olives, and other provisions, together with woollen, 
linen, and silk cloths (of plate or silver they found but little), 
they put to sea, and stood over to the mainland, keeping along 
the northern coast till they came in sight of Cartagena ; and 
entered the harbour about three miles westward of the town. To 
enter the town it was necessary for the troops to pass along a 
narrow isthmus not above fifty paces wide, having the sea on one 
side and the harbour on the other ; and at the extremity was a 
stone w r all built across it, with an opening just wide enough for 
the horsemen or a carriage to pass. This was barricadoed with 
wine-butts filled with earth, and placed on end. Against this 
part the assault was made. 

" We soon," says Cates, " found out the barricadoes of pipes or butts to be 
the meetest place for our assault, which, notwithstanding it was well fur- 
nished with pikes and shot, was, without staying, attempted by us : down 
went the butts of earth, and pell-mell came our swords and pikes together 
after our shot had first given their volley, even at the enemy's nose. Our 
pikes were somewhat longer than their's, and our bodies better armed, with 
which advantage our swords and pikes grew too hard for them, and they 
were driven to give place. In this furious entree, the Lieutenant-General 
slue with his owne hands the chief ensigne-bearer of the Spaniards, who 
fought very manfully to his live's end." 

They rushed together into the town, and gave the enemy no 
time to breathe until they got to the market-place, when they 
were suffered to remain quietly, and lodge in the town — the in- 
habitants going into the country to their wives. During the 
fight the Indians made use of poisoned arrows, the least scratch 
of the skin with which caused death. 

They kept possession of Cartagena for six weeks, and pur- 
sued the same course to obtain a ransom as they had done at St. 
Domingo ; 

" and though," continues Cates, " upon discontentments and for want of 
agreeing in the first negociations for a ransom, they touched the town in its 
outposts, and consumed much with fire, yet the other miseries of war were 
suspended ; and there passed divers courtesies between us and the Spaniards, 
as feasting and using them with all kindness and favour. The Governor, 
the Bishop, and many other gentlemen of the better sort, visiting the General 
and Lieutenant General." 


The only loss the English sustained from the enemy, during 
their stay here was that of Captain Varney and Captain Moon, 
and five or six other persons, who were killed by the discharge 
of some muskets from the bushes, when standing on the deck of 
a vessel they had boarded. 

But the disease which they had brought with them from the 
Cape de Verde Islands never left them : they suffered much from 
sickness, which carried off a great number of men, and of those 
who survived very few ever recovered their strength ; they lost 
their memory, and became imbecile in mind. The name given 
to the disorder was the calenture, which is " a verie burning and 
pestilent ague." The continuance of this disease, which was 
doubtless what is now called the yellow fever, and the great 
mortality resulting from it, obliged them to give up their in- 
tended enterprise against Nombre de Dios, and from thence 
overland to Panama, where the blow was to have been struck for 
the treasure. Their first resolution to return homewards was taken 
at Cartagena ; but after " a little firing of the town," in conse- 
quence of some disagreement touching the ransom, it was con- 
cluded that one hundred and ten thousand ducats should be paid. 

At a consultation respecting this ransom it was stated that 
they might at first have demanded a great deal more ; but now 
the above-mentioned sum was deemed sufficient — 

" Inasmuch," says Cates, " as we have taken our full pleasure, both in the utter- 
most sacking and spoiling of all their household goods and merchandise, as also 
in that we have consumed and ruined a great part of their town with fire. And 
whereas we had in the expedition a great number of poor men who had ventured 
their lives, suffered much from sickness, wasted their clothing, and what 
little provision their slender means had enabled them to lay in, with the best 
intention of punishing the Spaniard, our greatest and most dangerous enemy, 
we cannot but have an inward regard to help toward their satisfaction of 
this their expectation ; and, by procuring them some little benefit, to en- 
courage them, and to nourish this ready and willing disposition both in them 
and in others, by their example, against any other time of like occasion." 

The officers did still more for their men. In the official docu- 
ment drawn up on the occasion they state — 

" But because it may be supposed that therein we forgot not the private 
benefit of ourselves, and are thereby the rather moved to incline ourselves to 
this composition, we declare hereby, that what part or portion soever it be of 
this ransom for Cartagena, which should come unto us, we do freely give 
and bestow the same wholly upon the poor men who have remained with us 


in the voyage, meaning as well the sailor as the soldier, and wishing with all 
our hearts it were such or so much, as might seem a sufficient reward for 
their peaceful endeavour." 

On the 1st of March the expedition left Cartagena, and on the 
27th of April reached Cape St. Antonio, the westernmost part of 
Cuba. Finding no fresh water there, they made for Matanzas ; 
but the weather being boisterous, were driven back to Cape St. 
Antonio, where their water was exhausted; and, after much 
search, they found only some pits of rain-water. 

" Here," says Cates, " I do wrong if I should forget the good example of 
the General, who, to encourage others, and to hasten the getting of water 
aboard, took no less pains than the meanest. Throughout the expedition, 
indeed, he had everywhere shown so vigilant a care and foresight in the good 
ordering of his fleet, accompanied with such wonderful travail of body, that 
doubtless, had he been the meanest person, as he was the chiefest, he had 
deserved the first place of honour. And no less happy do we account him for 
being associated with Master Carleill his lieutenant-general, by whose expe- 
rience, prudent counsel and gallant performance, he achieved so many and 
happy enterprises, and by whom also he was very greatly assisted, in setting 
down the needful orders, laws and course of justice, and the due administra- 
tion of the same upon all occasions." 

From hence they continued their course for the coast of 
Florida, keeping the shore in sight. On the 28th of May they 
discovered a scaffold raised upon four high masts, as a look-out 
station towards the sea. Upon this, Drake manned the pinnaces 
and landed, to see what place of strength the enemy held there, 
no one in the armament having any knowledge of it. Having 
gone up the river St. Augustine, they came to the fort of St. Juan 
de Pinos, newly erected by the Spaniards, and not yet completed. 
On their approach the engineers took the alarm, and, abandoning 
the work, made the best of their way to the city of St. Augustine, 
where there was a garrison of 1 50 men. When the English landed 
the next day to storm this fort, they found nobody there. There 
were fourteen great pieces of brass ordnance placed on a plat- 
form, which was constructed of large pine-trees laid across one 
on another, with some little earth between. The garrison, 
which, as they learned from a French flfer, who was a prisoner in 
the fort, consisted of 150 men, had retired in such haste that they 
left behind them the treasure-chest, containing about 2000/. 

In like manner, on the English marching to the city of St. 
Augustine, the Spaniards, after they had fired a few shot at 


them, all ran away. Anthony Powell, the sergeant-major, leapt 
upon one of the horses they had left behind, and pursued them ; 
but having advanced rashly beyond his company, over ground 
covered with long grass, a Spaniard, laying wait for him, shot 
him through the head ; and before any of the party could come 
to rescue his body, it had been pierced with many wounds. The 
Governor had withdrawn to St. Matheo, and all the inhabitants 
had deserted the city. It was considered as wearing the appear- 
ance of being a prosperous settlement, having its council-house, 
church, and other edifices, and gardens all round about. All 
the public buildings were burnt, and the gardens laid waste by 
the invaders, in revenge for the death of Captain Powell. It was 
intended, on leaving this place, to visit another Spanish settle- 
ment, about twelve leagues farther on, called St. Helena, and 
attack and destroy it also ; but they found the shoals too dan- 
gerous for them to attempt an entrance without a pilot, and 
under unfavourable circumstances of wind and weather. Aban- 
doning therefore this design, they continued coasting along, pro- 
ceeding in sight of the shore, in search of Sir Walter Raleigh's 
recently planted colony in Virginia, which, by her Majesty's 
command, Sir Francis Drake was directed to inspect, and to 
afford it any assistance and encouragement he might be enabled 
to do. Finding the shore, like that of St. Helena, inaccessible 
to their ships, on account of the shoalness of the water, they 
were constrained to anchor, in an exposed situation, two miles 
from the shore ; from whence the General sent a message to 
Mr. Ralph Lane, the Governor, who was then at his fort at 
Roanoak, to offer him such supplies as his squadron would afford. 
Mr. Lane, with some of his company, waited on the General, 
and requested him to grant his little colony a reinforcement 
of men and a supply of provisions, and also a small vessel and 
boats, in order that, should they be put- to distress for want of 
supplies from home, they might have the means at hand to em- 
bark for England. This request was immediately complied with : 
a ship was selected for the use of the colony, and orders were 
given for it to be fitted up and plentifully furnished with all 
manner of stores for a considerable period. While this, however, 
was in preparation, a storm arose which continued three days, and 
drove the ship that had been selected, and some others, from their 


anchors to sea. These vessels were never seen again till Drake's 
arrival in England, whither all of them had directed their course, 
instead of facing the storm. 

Sir Francis then proposed to give the settlers another of his 
ships ; but the late accident, and the previous hardships which 
Mr. Lane and his fellow-colonists had undergone, had so de- 
pressed their spirits, that they concluded Providence was not 
favourable to their design of establishing themselves on the shores 
of America ; and considering, moreover, that the promised sup- 
plies from England had failed them, they, after some consulta- 
tion, petitioned Sir Francis to take them home with him. The 
number that embarked was 103, five of the 108 who had originally 
landed having died. Mr. Lane is reported to have been the first 
to introduce tobacco into England, that detestable weed having 
been so called from the island on which it was first found — 

" These men," says Camden, " who were thus brought back were the first 
that I know of that brought into England that Indian plant which they call 
tabacca and nicotia, or tobacco, which they used against crudities, being 
taught it by the Indians. Certainly from that time forward, it began to 
grow into great request, and to be sold at an high rate, which, in a short 
time, many men everywhere, some for wantonness, some for health sake, 
with insatiable desire and greediness, sucked in the stinking smoke thereof 
through an earthen pipe, which presently they blew out again at their 
nostrils : insomuch that tobacco-shops are now as ordinary in most towns, as 
tap-houses and taverns. So that the Englishmen's bodies (as one said 
wittily) which are so delighted with this plant, seem as 'twere to be degene- 
rated into the nature of barbarians, since they are delighted, and think they 
may be cured, with the same things which the barbarians use." 

Still more energetic were the feelings which King James ex- 
pressed respecting this abominable herb when he wrote the 
' Counterblast to Tobacco ;' and such, it may be added, are the 
feelings of many people regarding the practice, every day in- 
creasing, of blowing out " stinking smoke " in public places ; 
until Richmond Hill, and every other rural scene about London, 
have all the effluvium of a cigar-shop ; and the entire Continent 
has become one vast " smoking divan." 

Thus ended this expedition, very inferior in profit, and in the 
interest of the transactions, to Drake's two former enterprises. 
The booty brought home was valued at 60,000/. ; and 240 pieces 


of cannon were taken, of which 200 were of brass. The loss of 
men was about 750 ; almost all of them died of calenture. Of 
these, four were captains of the army, two of the navy, four 
lieutenants of the army, and six masters of merchant ships. Of 
the money brought home, 20,000/., as they had resolved in 
council, were divided among the soldiers and sailors, being about 
61. per man. They arrived at Portsmouth on the 28th of July, 

Sir William Monson, speaking of this expedition, says — 

" This fleet was the greatest of any nation but the Spaniards, that had ever 
been seen in those seas since the first discovery of them. And if it had been 
as well considered of, before their going from home, as it was happily per- 
formed by the valour of the undertakers, it had more annoyed the King of 
Spain than all other actions that ensued during the time of the war. 

" But it seems our long peace made us uncapable of advice in war ; for had 
we kept and defended these places, when in our possession, and provided to 
have been relieved and succoured out of England, we had diverted the war 
from this part of Europe ; for at that time there was no comparison betwixt 
the strength of Spain and England by sea, by means whereof we might have 
better defended them, and with more ease encroached upon the rest of the 
Indies, than the king of Spain could have aided or succoured them. 

" But now we see, and find by experience, that those places which were 
then weak and unfortified, are since so fortified that it is to no purpose to 
us to annoy the king of Spain in his West Indies. And though this voyage 
proved both fortunate and victorious, yet considering it was rather an 
awakening than a weakening of him, it had been far better to have wholly 
declined than to have undertaken it upon such slender grounds, and with 
so inconsiderable forces." 

To this it might have been replied, ' If we could not support 
the little colony of Virginia, unmolested by an enemy of any 
description, how should we have been able to support three or 
four populous districts, every inhabitant of which was in bitter 
hostility against us, and not merely national and political hos- 
tility, but religious also — regarding us, from the highest to the 
lowest, with a hatred incapable of conciliation ?' 

Queen Elizabeth's policy was of a higher order, we conceive, 
than Sir William Monson's. She said to her Parliament — 

" It may be thought simplicity in me, that, all this time of my reign, I 
have not sought to advance my territories, and enlarge my dominions ; for 
opportunity hath served me to do it. I acknowledge my womanhood and 
weakness in that respect; but though it hath not been hard to obtain, yet I 


doubted how to keep the things so obtained : and I must say, my mind was 
never to invade my neighbours, ox' to usurp over any ; I am contented to 
reign over my own, and to rule as a just princess." 

The real causes of failure appear to have been the unfortunate 
and ill-judged landing of 1000 men at St. Jago, the delay there 
of fourteen days, the fever they caught at that most unhealthy 
and miserable place, and the subsequent delay at Dominica 
and St. Christopher, making it full thirteen weeks before they 
reached St. Domingo, owing to which the Spaniards had ample 
time to prepare for them, and were accordingly on their guard 
at Nombre de Dios, Panama, and other places, where the gold 
and silver of Peru and Mexico are usually deposited. 

96 EXPEDITION TO CADIZ. [chap. vii. 




Designs of Philip — Insolence of the Spanish Ambassador — Drake appointed 
to command an expedition — Letter of Sir F. Drake— Arrives at Cadiz; 
burns, sinks, and carries away about 100 sail of ships — Dispatches Capt. 
Crosse with letters — Leaves Cadiz — Destroys a number of ships in the 
Tagus — Drake stands over to Terceira and captures a large and rich 
carrack — Case of Capt. Burroughs. 

In the course of the year 1587, the intentions of Spain with 
regard to England could no longer be concealed. Philip, while 
affecting an earnest desire to come to an amicable adjustment 
of the differences that had so long existed between the two na- 
tions, was secretly preparing to invade England with an over- 
whelming force. In the mean time Catholic priests were em- 
ployed as spies, both in Great Britain and on the Continent, to 
learn the feelings of the Queen and her ministers on the ques- 
tion of war ; and also to ascertain the extent and efficiency of the 
warlike preparations in England. They had besides what they 
termed seminary priests in England, whose business it was to 
seduce the people from their allegiance to the Queen and the 
established religion, and to entice them into the body of the 
Catholic church. The Queen, on her part, was well informed of all 
the designs of Spain, and vigorous measures were taken to coun- 
teract them. The intention to invade England is said to have 
been first discovered in consequence of a letter written by Philip 
to the Pope, asking the blessing of his Holiness on the intended 
project ; a copy of which letter Mr. Secretary Walsingham pro- 
cured from a Venetian priest, whom he retained at Rome as a 
spy. The original letter was stolen from the Pope's cabinet by 
a gentleman of his bed-chamber, who took the keys out of the 

chap, vii.] EXPEDITION TO CADIZ. 97 

pocket of his Holiness while he slept, and furnished the priest 
with a copy. 

One favourite object of Philip was to get possession of the 
person of Queen Elizabeth, and to deliver her into the hands of 
the Pope ; in the hope, no doubt, that he would consign her to 
the Inquisition. This he conceived would give a death-blow 
to heresy in England ; and as Elizabeth was the chief safeguard 
of the Protestants, he hoped, by subduing that princess, to 
acquire the eternal renown of re-uniting the whole Christian 
world in the Roman communion. It is said that the King of 
Spain gave special charge to the commander of the Expedition 
and to all the captains that in no wise they should harm the 
person of the Queen ; but, upon taking her, show all reverence 
towards her, looking well, however, to her safe custody ; and 
further, that order should be taken as speedily as possible for the 
conveyance of her person to Rome, that his Holiness the Pope 
might dispose of her as it should please him. 

An English papist priest, of the name of Allen, traitorously 
circulated the Pope's bull excommunicating the Queen, de- 
throning her, and absolving her subjects from allegiance, and 
granting plenary indulgence for her murder. He even went to 
the Duke of Parma, and preached to him the meritorious doctrine 
of putting to death heretical sovereigns ; but the Duke gave him 
no encouragement, and openly declared his respect for Elizabeth. 

It appears that Philip was fully persuaded by his priests and 
courtiers of the certain success of the invasion of Great Britain. 
He was led to believe that England, by a long peace, had lost 
all military discipline and experience both in the army and navy ; 
that the papist population, which was numerous, would be ready 
to a man to join his forces on their landing ; and that one battle 
by sea, and one on land, would decide her fate. In the mean 
time, however, the ambassador of Spain affected to express a 
strong desire on the part of his sovereign to maintain a state of 
peace. But when he discovered that their plans were detected, 
and that England was also preparing her forces, he assumed a 
more haughty tone, and put forward such demands, in the name 
of Philip, as he well knew never would be complied with. He 
required that the Queen should withdraw her protection from 
the Netherlands, replace the ships and treasure seized unlaw- 


98 EXPEDITION TO CADIZ. [chap. vii. 

fully by Drake, restore the abbeys and monasteries destroyed 
by Henry VIII., and acknowledge the supremacy of the Pope. 

Acquiescence in these demands was of course never for an 
instant thought of by the lion-hearted Queen or her brave sub- 
jects : one spirit animated the whole nation : but the emergency 
was great, and strenuous measures were to be adopted. The 
first steps to be taken were to ascertain, by the personal inspec- 
tion of some able officer, the actual state of the enemy's prepara- 
tions in the ports of Spain and Portugal ; to intercept any 
supplies of men, stores, or ammunition, that the Duke of Parma 
* might dispatch from the Low Countries ; also to lay waste the 
enemy's harbours on the western coast ; and not only destroy all 
the shipping that could be met with at sea conveying stores and 
provisions, but even to attack them in port. For services such 
as these no one was considered so fit as Drake. He was sent 
for ; and, always ready to undertake any duty which the Queen 
might command, he did not hesitate a moment to accept the 
appointment, and immediately busied himself in the preparation 
of a fleet suitable to the occasion. The Queen told him he should 
have four of her best ships, and she doubted not her good city of 
London would cheerfully furnish the rest. The Queen's ships 
were — the Elizabeth Bonaventure, Commander Sir Francis 
Drake ; Golden Lyon, Capt. Wm. Burroughs ; Rainbow, Capt. 
Bellingham ; Dreadnought, Capt. Thos. Fenner. These ships, 
together with twenty others, supplied chiefly by the Londoners 
— some accounts say twenty-four — were ordered by Drake to 
assemble at Plymouth, to which port he repaired to hasten their 
equipment. The chief adventurers in- this voyage were, as the 
Queen had anticipated, her good citizens of London, who how- 
ever are said to have sought their own private gain more than 
the advancement of the service ; nor were they deceived in their 
expectation. Lord Charles Howard, Earl of Effingham, who 
had been appointed Lord High Admiral of England in 1585, put 
himself in communication with Drake, whose movements are 
detailed in the following letter : — 

Sir Francis Drake to Sir Francis Walsingham. 
Righte Honorable, April 2d, 1587. 

This last nyght past came unto us the Eyall Marchant, with 4 of the 
rest of the London flett, the wynd would permett them no sooner. We have 

chap, vii.] EXPEDITION TO CADIZ. 99 

since ther comyng agreed uppon all condycyons between us and them, and 
have found them so well affected, and so willing in all our good proceedings, 
as we all persuad ourselves there was never more lykely in any flett, or a 
more loving agreement, then we hope the one of the other. I thanck God I 
fynd no man but as all members of one body, to stand for our gracyous 
Queue and country agaynst anty-Christ and his members. 

I thanck God these gentellmen of great place, as Captayne Burrowghes,* 
Captayne Vennard, and Captayne Bellengham, which are partakers with 
mee in this servis, I fynd very dyscrett, honest, and most suffycyent. 

Yf your honor did now see the flett under sayell, and knew with what 
resollucyon men's myndes dow enter into this accyon, as your Honor would 
rejoyce to see them, so you would judge a small fforce would not devyde 

I assure your honor uppon my credytt ther are manye suffycyent men in 
this accyon, yeat ther hath dyvers start from us within this tow dayes past, 
and we all thinck by some practys of some adversaryes to the accyon, by 
letters written ; they are most maryners, we have soldyers in ther place. 

I have written to the Justysses for the sending of som of those that are 
ronne awaye in our countries, to send them to the gayell, and ther to be 
punyshed by the dyscresyon of the judges which are now in the Serqwett 
here with us. 

I have written more largely to my Lord Admerall in this matter, for yf 
ther should be no punyshment in so greate a matter, in this so dangerous a 
tyme, it may dow mych hurt to her Majestie's servis. 

I assure your Honor here hath byne no tyme lost, nether with the grace 
of God shall be in any other place. I have uppon my owne credytt supplied 
such vittuall as we have spent, and augmented as moch as I could gett, for 
that we are very unwylling to retorne arrantlesse. 

Lett me beseeche your honor to hold a good opynyon, not of myself only, 
but of all the reste servytors in this accyon, as we stand nothing doubtfull of 
your honor, but yf ther be any yll affected, as ther hath not wanted in other 
accyons, and it is lykely this will not go free, that by your honorable good 
meanes, whether it be to her Majestie or unto your Honor, that the partyes 
may be knowen. Yf we deserve yll, lett us be punyshed ; yf we dyscharge 
our dutyes in doing our best yt is a hard measure to be reported yll by those 
which will ether keep their fynger out of the fyer, or too well affect to the 
alteratyon of our Goverment, which I hope in God they shall never live 
to see. 

The wynd commaunds me away, our shipe is under sayell, God graunt we 
may so live in his feare, as the enemey may have cawse to say that God 
doth fight for her Majestie as well abrod as at home, and geve her long and 
happye lyfe, and ever victory agaynst God's enemyes and her Majestie's. 

God geve your honor parfect helth in bodye, and all yours, and let me 

* He had great cause to alter his opinion of this officer, as will presently 
be shown. 



beseeche your honor to pray unto God for us that he will direct us the right 
way, then shall we not doubt our enemyes, for they are the sonnes of men. 
Haste, from abourd her Majesty's good shipe the Ellyzabethe Bonaventure, 
this 2th. Aprell, 1587. 

By hym that will allwayes be commanded by you, and never leave to pray 
to God for you and all yours, 

Fra: Drake.* 
To the Right Honourable 

Sir ffrancis Walsingham, Knight, 

Principall Secretary to Her Majestie and of Her Majestie's 
Moste Honorable Pryvie Counsell at the Courte. 
With speede. 

Drake accordingly left Plymouth on the day his letter was 
written, and on the 16th of the same month, in the latitude of 
40°, fell in with two ships of Middleburgh, which had come 
from Cadiz, and by them was informed that there was a great 
quantity of military stores at Cadiz, which they were busily 
employed in embarking, and which were to be conveyed to 
Lisbon as soon as possible. Upon this information, the General, 
with all possible speed, directed his course to Cadiz with the 
view of destroying these supplies and shipping before they could 
get out of the port. On the 19th of April he entered the har- 
bour ; and when opposite the town was assailed by five galleys, 
which, after a short conflict, he compelled to retire under the 
guns of the Castle. 

There were lying in the road sixty ships and many smaller 
vessels, under the protection of the fortress ; there were also 
about twenty French ships and some small Spanish vessels ; but 
the latter, being able to pass the shoals, made the best of their 
way into Porto Real. Drake's squadron, on coming in, sunk with 
their shot a large ship of Ragusa, of about 1000 tons, furnished 
with forty pieces of brass cannon, and very richly laden. Two 
other galleys came out from St. Maryport, and two from Porto 
Real; they fired some guns at the General's ships; but with 
little effect, and were compelled to retreat, well beaten for their 

Before night Drake had taken, burnt, and destroyed about a 
hundred sail of ships, and become complete master of the road ; 
the large galleys so vaunted by the Spaniards being unable to 

* MS. State Paper Office. 

chap, vii.] EXPEDITION TO CADIZ. 101 

withstand him. There remained at Porto Seal, and in sight of 
the squadron, about forty ships, besides those that fled from 

The squadron were much harassed during the time they re- 
mained before Cadiz, by the continual firing kept up by the 
galleys, which were under the protection of the fortress, and 
from the guns which were planted on every point of the shore. 
The English were much annoyed also by the number of the Spanish 
ships, which, when they could no longer defend themselves, the 
enemy set on fire, and sent adrift into the squadron. On the 
turn of the tide, it required great exertion to keep clear of these. 

" This, nevertheless," says one of the narrators, " was a pleasant sight for 
us to behold, because we were thereby eased of a great labour, which lay upon 
us day and night, in discharging the victuals and other provisions of the 
enemye. Thus by the assistance of the Alraightye, and the invincible courage 
and industry of our General, this strange and happy enterprize was achieved 
in one day and two nights, to the great astonishment of the King of Spain's 
officers, and bred such a chagrin in the heart of the Marquis of Santa Cruz, 
the High Admiral of Spain, that he never enjoyed a good day after, but 
within five months died (as may justly be supposed) of extreme griefe and 

" Thus having performed this notable piece of service, the General with 
his squadron came out of the road of Cadiz, on Friday morning the 21st of 
the said month of April, with very small loss on his side, so small as not 
worth the mentioning. 

" After his departure, ten of the great galleys that were in the road came 
out, as it were in pretence of making some exercise with their ordnance, at 
which time the wind grew scant ; whereupon the English cast about again 
and stood in with the shore, and came to an anchor within a league of the 
town ; where the said galleys, for all their former bragging, at length suffered 
the squadron to ride quietly." 

The English had already had some little experience of these 
galleys, the favourite ships of the Spaniards, who were accus- 
tomed to place their chief reliance upon them ; but Drake assures 
us that the four ships only of her Majesty which he then com- 
manded, would have made " very little account of the galleys," 
if they had been alone and not busied in taking care of the others 
that were attached to them. On this occasion the galleys, although 
they had every advantage on their side, were soon forced by the 
English to retire. 

102 EXPEDITION TO CADIZ. [chap. vn. 

The General dispatched Captain Crosse to England with letters, 
giving him also in charge to declare personally unto her Majesty 
all the particulars of this enterprise. 

One of the letters was addressed to Sir Francis Walsingham. 
It is here copied from the original in the State Paper Office : — 

Sir F. Drake to Sir F. Walsingham. 

Eight Honorable, 27th April, 1587. 

Theise are to geive to understande that on the seconde of this moneth 
we departede out of the Sound of Plymouth. We had sighte of the Cape 
Venester the 5th. We were encountrede with a violente storme, duringe 
the space of five daies, by which meanes our fleete was putt a sonder and a 
greate leake sprange uppon the Dreadnoughte : the 16th we niette all together 
at the Rocke, & the 19th we arrivede into the roade of Cales (Cadiz) in 
Spaigne, where we founde sondrie greate shippes, some laden, some halfe 
laden, and some readie to be laden with the King's provisions for Englande. 
We staied there untill the 21st, in which meane tyme we sanke a Biskanie 
of 12 C (1200) tonnes, burnte a shippe of the Marques of Santa Cruse of 15 
C (1500) tonnes and 31 shippes more, of 1000 : 800 : 600 : 400, to 200 tonnes 
the peice, and carried awaie fower with us laden with provision, and departede 
thence at our pleasure with as moch honor as we coulde wishe, notwithstand- 
inge that duringe the tyme of our aboade there we were bothe oftentymes 
foughte withall by 12 of the Kinges gallies (of whome we sanke two) and 
allwaies repulsed the reste, and were (withoute ceassinge) vehementlie shotte 
at from the shoare, but to our little hurte, God be thankede. Yeat at our 
departure we were curteouslie written unto by one Don Pedro, generall of 
those gallies. I assure your Honor the like preparacion was never hearde of, 
nor knowen, as the Kinge of Spaigne hathe and dailie makethe to invade 
Englande. He is allied with mightie Prynces and Dukes in the Straits, of 
whome (besides the forces in his owne domynyons) he is to have greate aide 
shortlie : and his provisions of breade and wynes are so greate as will suffice 
40,000 men a wholle yeere, which if they be not ympeached before they 
joyne, will be verie perillous. Oure intente therefore is (by God's helpe) to 
intercepte their meetinges by all possible meanes we maye, which I hope 
shall have such goode successe as shall tende to the advauncemente of God's 
glorie, the savetie of her Highnes' royall person, the quyett of her countrie, 
and the annoyance of the enemye. This service which by God's sufferance 
we have done, will (withoute doubte) breade some alteracyon of their pre- 
tences, howbeit all possible preparacions for defence are verye expediente to 
be made. Thus moch touchinge our proceedinges, and farther entente in 
this actyon, I have thoughte meete to signifie unto your Honor, & would also 
more larger discourse, but that wante of leisure causeth me to leave the same 
to the reporte of this bearer. And so in verie greate haste, with remem- 
braunce of my humble duetie, doe take my leave of your Honor. From 

chap, vii.] EXPEDITION TO CADIZ. 103 

aboarde her Highnes' good shippe the Elizabethe Bonaventure, the 27th of 
April 1587." 

Your Honor's 
redye allwayes 
to be commaunded, 

Fra : Drake. 
I leave the report of dyvers partycullers to the bearer hereof, and pray 
pardon for not writtyng with my owne hand. I am overcome with busy- 

Your Honor's ever redy, 

Fra: Drake.* 
The Eight Hon. 

Sir Fras. Walsingham. 

The General next shaped his course towards Cape Sacre 
(Sagres), and in the way thither captured and burnt nearly a 
hundred ships, barks, and caravels, laden with warlike stores. 
On arriving at Cape Sacre (Sag-res) the troops were landed, and 
the castle and three other strongholds assaulted ; all of which 
were either taken by force or surrendered. 

Hence the squadron proceeded towards Lisbon, and anchored 
near Cascais, where the Marquis of Santa Cruz was then lying 
with his galleys. The marquis appears to have looked on very 
quietly whilst the English were destroying the shipping ; and 
ultimately to have run away without exchanging a single shot 
with them. 

The following letter from Drake, which, like the former, is 
copied from the original in the State Paper Office, is both cha- 
racteristic and interesting : — 

Sir Francis Drake to Sir F. Walsingham. 

17 May, 1587. 
Sence the departyng of Captayne Crosse, Right Honorable, ther hath 
happened betweene the Spanyards, Portyngalls, and ourselves, dyvers com- 
batts, in the which it hathe pleased God that we have taken forty shipes, 
barks, carvelles, and dyvers other vesselles, more than a hundreth, most 
laden; som with oorse for gallyes, planke, and tymber, for shippes and 
penaces, howpes and pype-staves for casks, with many other provytions for 
this great armey. I assuer your honor the howpes and pype-staves were 
above 16 or 17 C tonn (1600 or 1700) in wayght, which cannott be lessethan 
25 or 30 thousand tonn if it had bynn made in caske redy for lyqwyer ; all 
which I comaunded to be consumed into smoke and asshes by fyer, which 

* MS. State Paper Office. 

104 EXPEDITION TO CADIZ. [chap. vii. 

will be unto the King no small waste of his provycyons, besyds the want of 
his barks. The netts which we have consumed will cawse the people to 
curse ther governours to ther fface. 

The Porttyngalles I have allwayes comaunded to be used well, and sent 
them ashoore without the wantyng of any ther aparrell, and have mad them 
to know that it was unto me a great greffe that I was dry ven to hurtt of these 
to the vallew of one ryall of platt, but that I found them employed for the 
Spanyai-ds servesses which we hold to be our morttall enemyes, and gave 
som Porttyngallers som mony in their pursses, and put them aland in dy vers 
places, upon which usage, yf we staye here any tyme, the Spanyards which 
are here in Porttyngall, yf they com under our hands, will become all 
Porttyngalles, and play as Petter dyd, forsweer ther master, rather then to be 
sold as slaves. I asshure your honor this hath breed a great fear in the 

I spake with the Marquyes of Santa Cruse, at Cast Calles (Cascayes) nere 
Lysbona, by messenger, wher he was abourd his gallyes, to know whether 
he would redeme any of his Master's subjectts, which I had som fear of, for 
suche of my Mystryes' people as he had under his government. The Mar- 
qwes sent me word, that as he was a gentleman he had nonne, and that I 
should asshuer myselfe that yf he had had any he would shurly have sent 
them me ; which I knew was not so, for that I had trew entellegence by 
Ynglyshemen and Porttyngalles that the Marquyes had dyvers Ynglyshe- 
men bothe in his gallyes and prysons ; but in trewth I thinck the Marquyes 
durst not release our Ynglyshmen before he have order from his King, and 
lyberttye from the persecuttying clergey. 

I sent lykwyse to the Generall of the K. gallyes at Calles, and to all such 
Governors as I convenyently myght for the redemyng of ther Spaniards — 
they all aunsered me kyndly, but som had bowght a plow of oxen, others 
had taken a farme, and the rest had maryed wyffes ; the former prayed to be 
held excused, and the latter could send us no Ynglyshmen, — whereupon it is 
agreed by us all, her Majestic' s captaynes and masters, that all such Span- 
yards, as yt shall please God to send under our hands, that they shall be 
sold unto the Mowres, and the mony reserved for the redemyng of such of 
our contryemen as may be redemed therwith. 

For the reveng of these things, what forces the contry is abell to make, 
we shall be sueer to have browght uppon us, as ffar as they may, with all 
the devyces and trappes they cann devyse ; I thancke them much they have 
stayed so long, and when they com they shall be but the sonnes of morttall 
men, and for the most part enemyes to the truthe and upholders of balles to 
Dagon's imag, which hath alredye ffallen before the arke of our God, with 
his hands, armes, and head stroken of. 

As long as it shall please God to geve us provycyons to eat and drincke, 
and that our shipes and wynd and wether will permett us, you shall surly 
hyer of us nere this Cape of St. Vencent ; wher we dow and will exspecte 
daylly what her Majestie and your honors will farther comaund. 

God make us all thanckfull that her Majestie sent out these ffewe shipes 
in tyme. 

chap, vii.] EXPEDITION TO CADIZ. 105 

If ther were here six more of her Majestie's good shippes of the second 
sort, we should be the better abell to kepe ther forces from joynyng, and 
happelly take or impeache his fletts from all places in the next monthe, and 
so after which is the chefest terms of their retornes home, which I judge in 
my power opynyon will bring this great monarchye to those condycyons 
which ar meett. 

There must be a begynnyng of any great matter, but the contenewing 
unto the end untyll it be thoroughly ffyny shed yeldes the trew glory. Yf 
Hanybull had {followed his victoryes, it is thowght of many he had never 
byne taken by Sepyo. 

God mak us all thanckfull agayne and agayne that we have, althowghe it 
be lettell, mad a begennyng upon the cost of Spayne. If we can thorowghly 
beleve that this which we dow is in the defence of our relygyon and contrye, 
no doubt but our mercyfull God for his Christ, our Savyour's sake, is abell, 
and will geve us victory, althowghe our sennes be reed. God geve us grace 
we may feare hym, and daylly to call upon hym, so shall nether Sattan, nor 
his menesters prevayell agaynst us ; although God permett yow to be towched 
in body, yeat the Lord will hold his mynd pure. Lett me be pardoned of 
your honor agayne and agayne for my over myche boldnes, it is the conffe- 
cyon of my owne concyence, my dutty in all humbellnes to your honor, my 
good lady your yocke partener and all yours, beseching you all to pray unto 
God hartelly for us, as we dow daylly for all you. Hast, from her Majestie's 
good shipe the Ellyzabethe Bonaventure, now rydyng at Cape Saker, this 
17th May, 1587. 

Your honor's most redy to be comanded, 

Fra : Drake. 
The Right Hon : 

Sir Fras. Walsingham. 

With all speede. 

Most of the historians of this voyage state, that the General 
sent a message to the marquis to say that he was there ready to 
exchange shot with him, and that the marquis refused the chal- 
lenge, returning for answer, that he was not at that time ready to 
meet him, nor had any such commission to do so from his king. 
The letter just given disproves this statement. 

One of the narrators of this expedition states — 

" Our General, seeing no more good to be done in this place, having 
destroyed every kind of craft near the mouth of the Tagus, thought it expe- 
dient to spend no longer time upon this coast ; and therefore, with the appro- 
bation of the next officer in command, and to the great satisfaction of the 
merchant adventurers, who were not at all pleased with the destruction of so 
much valuable property before Calais and Cascais, he shaped his course for 
the Isles of Azores, and, in making for the Isle of St. Michael, and coming 
within twenty or thirty leagues thereof, it was his good fortune to fall in with 

106 EXPEDITION TO CADIZ. [chap. vii. 

a Portuguese carrak called Saint Philip, being the same ship which, in the 
voyage outward, had carried back the three princes of Japan, who had 
visited Europe, into the Indies. This carrak, without any great resistance, 
was captured, and the people thereof were transferred into certain of the 
merchant vessels well furnished with victuals, and sent away courteously 
home into their own country. This was the first carrak that ever was taken 
on a return voyage from the East Indies ; and her fate was considered by the 
Portuguese as an evil omen, because the ship bore the King's own name. 

" The wealth of this prize seemed so great unto the whole company (as in 
truth it was), that they assured themselves every man would receive a suf- 
ficient reward for all his trouble and expenses; and thereupon they all 
resolved to return home, without further delay in looking for prizes, in which 
they were gratified by the approbation of the General, who was fully aware 
of the very great value of the prize he had captured. He therefore ordered 
his squadron to bear up for England, which they all most cheerfully obeyed ; 
and happily arrived in Plymouth the same summer, with their whole fleet of 
merchant ships, and this rich booty, to their own profit and due commenda- 
tion, and to the great admiration of the whole kingdom, and the extreme 
care and anxiety of her Majesty's government to secure that ' rich booty ' 
for future appropriation, as we shall presently see. 

" And here, by the way, it is to be noted that the taking of this carrak 
wrought two extraordinary effects in England : first, that it taught others 
that carraks were no such non-descripts but that they might easily enough 
be taken (as since indeed it hath turned out in the taking of the Madre de Dios, 
and firing and sinking of others) ; and secondly, in acquainting the English 
nation, and the merchants more particularly, with the detail of the exceeding 
great riches and wealth of the East Indies ; whereby the Portuguese and 
their neighbours of Holland have long been encouraged ; both being men as 
skilful in navigation, and of no less courage than the Portugals, to share with 
them in the traffic to the East Indies, where their power is nothing so great 
as heretofore hath been supposed." 

Elizabeth granted a charter to certain merchants of the city 
of London to trade to the East Indies, with certain exclusive 
privileges, under the title of " The Governor and Company of 
Merchants of London, trading to the East Indies," which has 
continued ever since. 

The enormous wealth brought into England by this carrak 
was deemed of so much importance that the Lords of her 
Majesty's Privy Council appointed Commissioners to go down 
forthwith to Plymouth, for the express purpose of examining it 
and regulating the disposal of it. It is more than probable that 
details of all the riches she contained, and the mode in which 
they were disposed of, are given in the Burleigh MSS., which, 
unfortunately, are still inaccessible. The carrak, after she was 

criAP. vii.] EXPEDITION TO CADIZ. 107 

unladen, was sent up to Saltash, and there accidentally destroyed 
by fire. 

Altogether the results of this expedition were most satisfac- 
tory; and even Sir William Monson, prone as he is to censure, 
has no fault to find with it. He says — " This voyage proceeded 
prosperously, and without exception ; for there was both honour 
and wealth gained, and the enemy was greatly endamaged :" and 
yet there were circumstances connected with it which might 
have afforded him ample scope for very stringent remarks on 
naval discipline. Not only did the crew of one of the ships 
mutiny, and go off with her to England ; but the second officer 
in command, Captain Burroughs, was guilty of such insubor- 
dination that Drake was obliged to displace him, and put him 
under arrest. 

The accessible documents regarding this transaction are very 
imperfect: whether the Burleigh Papers at Hatfield would 
supply the deficiency is still unknown. 

The officer in question was Captain William Burroughs, who 
was next in rank to Drake, and was on board the Golden Lyon, 
the ship in which the mutiny subsequently occurred. Feeling 
himself aggrieved by the Admiral's conduct towards him, and 
dissatisfied with his plans for the future conduct of the expedition, 
he addressed the following most improper and unofficer-like letter 
to him : — 

From Captain Burroughs to Sir Francis Drake. 
My very Good Admirall, 30 April, 1587. 

For that hitherto in all this voyadg since our coming forthe (albeit 
there have bin often assemblies of the Captains of this fleete aboord of you, 
called by a flag of counsell, which I have judged had bin chiefly for such 
purpose) I could never perceive any matter of counsell or advice touching 
the accion, & service for her Majestie, with the fleete nowe under your 
chardge, to be effectually propounded, & debated, as in reason I judge there 
owght to have bin, as well for the better ordering of the affaires, busynes & 
attempts, as also for your owne securitye (for when you shoulde deale by 
advice and counsell of suche as are appointed for your assistaunce, & such 
other of experience as may be woorthye to be called thereunto, howsoever the 
succes fall out, yt shall be the better for your dischardge). But at all and 
every suche assemblye you have either shewid briefly your purpose what 
you wolde doe, as a matter resolved in yourself and of yourselfe, for oughte 
that I know, unlesse you have called unto you suche as happelye will soothe 

108 EXPEDITION TO CADIZ. [chap. vii. 

you in any thinge you shall saye, & so concluded the matter with his or 
theire consents before hande, in such sorte as no reason made by any other, 
not fullye agreeing with your owne resolucion, coolde be accepted to take 
any place wherein we (I speake chiefly for myne owne parte) have servid 
but as witnesses to the woordes you have delivered ; Or els you have used us 
well by entertaining us with your good cheare, & so most tymes after our 
staye with you most part of the daye, we have departed as wise as we came, 
without any consultacion or counsell holden. This manor of assemblies 
(albeit it maye please you to terme them either counsells or courts) are farre 
from the purpose & not suche as in reason they ought to be. You also 
neglected giving instructions to the Fleet in tyme and sorte as they ought to 
have had, and as yt owght to be, — for which I have bin sorye, & wolde 
gladlye yt had byn otherwise. But I have founde you alwaies so wedded to 
your owne opinion & will, that you rather disliked and shewed us that it 
were offencive unto you that any shoold gyve you advice in anything (at 
least I speake it for myself) for which cawse I have refrained often to speake 
that which otherwise I woold, and in reason in dischardge of the duetye I 
owe to Her Majestie and the place I serve in, I ought to have don : which 
place you make no accompte of, nor make any difference between it & the 
other Captains, naye you deale not so with me as you doe to other, your 
affection maye leade you therein, & to love and use any man better then you 
doe me ys no cawse of reason whye I shulde dislike it, — for myself, or any 
man, maye be likewise affected to one man, more then another, but I looke 
to be well used by you, in respect of, and according to, my place, which I 
fynde not. I have servid in place as I doe nowe, viz Admirall at the sea, 
unto the nowe L. Admirall of Englande ; yt pleased his Lordship to use me 
well ; and accompted of me according to the place for the tyme. I have 
served Her Majestie as her Admirall at the Seas, as you are nowe (& doe 
thinke that I shold not have bin appointed for this service, & in this place, 
with suche woordes from Her Highness, except I had bin thought meet to 
take chardge of suche a Fleet, yf you should miscarye). 

I have had instructions (for comission) for divers services comitted to my 
chardge, with as large and ample woordes in effect as you have nowe. ffbr, 
as I take it, the substaunce of the skope that is geven you is this, ffbr that by 
informacion the King of Spaine is preparing a great army by sea, parte at 
Lisbone, & other in Andellozia, and within the Strayts ; all which was judged 
shuld meete at Lisbone, & the same to come for England or some parte of 
Her Majestie's dominions, Her Majestie's pleasure is, by advice of Her 
Highnes' Counsell, that you, with these ships nowe under your chardge, 
shuld come hyther to this Cape, & upon this coast ; & seeke, by all the best 
meanes you can, to impeache theire purpose, and stop their meting at 
Lisbone, if it myght be, whereof the manor howe, is referred to your dis- 
creation. This is the effect of your Instructions (as I remember) and suche 
like in effect I have received, divers which I can shew. 

Nowe that you should conster these woordes to go whether you will, and 
to attempt and do what you lyst, I thinke the woordes will not beare you owt 
in it. And therefore I praye you (for your owne good) advize yourself 

chap, vii.] EXPEDITION TO CADIZ. 109 

well in theise matters you purpose to attempt, which may not well be main- 
tained by the woordes of your Instructions. 

The chief cawse that moovid me to write you thus muche, is, for that it 
pleased you yesterdaye, to tell me that you purposed to lande at the Cape, 
for surprising the Castell of Cape Saker or the Ablye to the eastwards of it, 
(or both). I heard speaches and debaiting of suche matter intended by you, 
by divers as they weare standinge in troopes upon the decke, before the 
steridg of your ship, before you told it me; and I heard the lyke ther 
amongst them also after you had told it me. I coold not perceive any of 
them to lyke there should be any landing upon this coast nere those places, 
neyther for taking the Castell or Ablye, nor yet for freshe water, for that 
there is no watring place nerer then half a myle from the water syde, which 
is but a poole, to the which the waye is badd : I doe not finde by your In- 
structions, any advice to lande, but I remember a speciall caviat and advice 
geven you to the contrarye by the Lord High Admirall. 

Nowe to land at this place for the attaining of 3 or 4 peces of ordinance 
that maye be in the castell, & perhaps as manye in the ablye, yf you should 
atchieve your purpose, as yesterdaye it was reasoned & alledged amongst 
them, What have you of it ? No matter of substance ! neither shall any 
man be bettrid by it, but a satisfying of your mynde that you maye saye, Thus 
I have don upon the King of Spaine's land. — But Sir, I wolde have you to 
consider, that though you have a good mynde to attempte the tliinge in hope 
of good successe, yet you maye mysse of your purpose, for (some) of your 
owiie Captaines that shoulde serve for the lande have said, that yf they were 
in eyther of those 2 places (being suche as they are reported) with one 
hundredth of good men they woulde not dowbt to keepe you out with all the 
force you can make. 

And shall we thincke that the people of this contrye are so symple that 
upon suche advertisements of us as they have, & our being continuallye in 
theire sight thus many daies as we have bin, that they will not seeke to 
provide for those places, & for the Coast hereabowt as well as they can ? 
Surelye I doe not thinke so of them, & therefore the getting of them maye be 
dowbtfull, and so maye it be dowbted of your safe landing & safe retorning 
backe to the ships, without great losse of men, or overthrowe by the power 
that maye be raised in the lande, which God keepe you from. 

Besydes, you knowe what galleis we lefte at Caels, & of 20 more that are 
come from Gibralter ; let us thinke that the gonnors under the King have a 
care for keeping of his Coasts, and whye maye there not be part, or the most 
part of those gallies sent to lye upon this coast, to wayet oportunytye to take 
the advantadge upon us (as this night divers of my company said they sawe 
3 betweene us and shore, even at the verye instant as the gale began) you 
knowe they may be uppon the coast nere at hande, where they maye see us, 
or have intelligence where we are, and what we doe from tyme to tyme, and 
yet we not to see them, nor have any knowledg of theire being, so maye 
they wayet for your landing, & cut you off, and indanger the fleete (yf it be 
calme and the ships at anker, where they cannot travers to make playe with 
them) — yea, they may troble us, and doe some mischief to our fleet, being 

110 EXPEDITION TO CADIZ. [chap. vii. 

calme as of late it hath bin, yf we keepe so nere the shore, scaterid, as yes- 
terdaye, & in former tyme we did, albeit we attempt not to lande. 

Moreover, to land men, requireth a land wind, or calme wether & smothe 
water, that the ships may be brought at anker nere the shore ; when men are 
landed, yt is uncertaine when they shall retorne ; yf in the meane the winde 
sholde chop off into the sea uppon the sodden, what then, do you thinke it 
mete that the ships shold remaine at ancker, & put all in hazard to be lost 
and cast away ? 

Consider, I praye you, effectually of theise points, for I hav don so, and 
thereuppon am resolved in opinion that it is not meete nor convenient that 
you attempte to lande hereabowt : which I thought good to advertise rather 
by writing which you may keepe to yourself, or manyfest it at your pleasure 
(for I have done it as I will answere to everye pointe thereof) then to have 
sayd so muche openlye, or in hearinge of some, which happellye might have 
bin to your dislikinge. I praye you to take this in goode parte as I meane 
it ; for I protest before God, I doe it to none other ende, but in dischardg of 
my duety towardes Her Majestie and the service, and of good will and well 
meaninge towardes you. 

Aboorde the Lyon in sight of Cape St. Vincent this Sondaye morne the 
30th of Aprill : 1587. 

Yours at commaunde, 

(Signed) W:B: 

To the Eight Worshipfull 

Sir ffrauncis Drake, Knyght, 

Her Majestie's Admirall of the Fleet here present 
at the Seas. Aboord the Elsabeth Bonaventer. 

In this, as in many similar instances where an inferior officer 
is discontented with his commander, the individual's own state- 
ment of his case is in itself sufficient to disprove his charge. 
When we consider Drake's established reputation, it seems 
astonishing that any man could have been so far wanting in 
judgment as to have addressed such a letter to him ; and there is 
also in parts of it a tone of timidity, and a wish to keep as much 
out of danger as possible, which are as unusual as they are un- 
becoming in a British sailor. 

Whether Drake gave any written reply to this letter does not 
appear ; but that he took proper notice of it, and that Burroughs 
perceived the necessity of submission, is evident from a second 
letter which he addressed to the Admiral : — - 

2d Maye, 1587. 

I am sorye that you make suche construction of my lettre. I pro- 
test I did it only in dischardge of my duetye, and for the better per- 
formance of Her Majestie's service ; yf you shall willinglye accept it soe, yt 

chap, vii.] EXPEDITION TO CADIZ. Ill 

is that wherof I shall be very glad, and you shall finde as muche good will 
and forwardnes in me, for the execution of Her Majestie's service in this 
accion, as shall become that place and credit that Her Majesty, and her 
Highnes' counsell, have thought me woorthye of, and myself as readye to 
followe your directions, as at any tyme I have don, or any man shall doe. 
And for furder satisfying of you I will doe such furder matter, as theise gen- 
tlemen shall relate unto you.* 

Aboord the Lyon, this Tewsdaye the 2d of Maye, 1587. 

Yours to Comande, 

(Signed) W. B. 
To the Rt. Worshipfull 
Sir ffrancis Drake, knyght, 

Her Majesty's Admirall of the fleet here present 
at the seas. Aboord the Elsabeth Bonaventer. 

* " That was to burne, or deliver hym the coppye of my lettre." 

These two letters are copied from the Burghley Papers, form- 
ing part of the Lansdowne MSS. in the British Museum : among 
the Cottonian MSS., also in the British Museum, is a part of a 
letter on this subject addressed by Drake to Lord Burleigh. It 
is as follows : — 

with the other w 
I thank God 
My good Lord, I am very unw complayne, especiallye by 

writtying ; Borrowghes hath not carried hy mself (in this) accyon so well as 
I wyshe he had don (for) his owne sak, and in his persistynge hath commetted 
a dubbell offence (not) only agaynst me, but it towcheth further ; I dysmest 
hym of his place : Captayne Parker yf your honor reqwyre it, will adver- 
tise your honor of muche of the matter. I humbly take my leave of your 
honor. From som what to estwards of Cape Saker (Sagres) this 21 May 

Your Lordship's ever redye 
to be commanded, 

Fra: Drake.* 
The Right. Hon. 
Lord Burleigh. 

It appears that Captain Burroughs, after lie was placed under 
arrest, remained in his own ship, the Golden Lyon, and was 
carried in her to England when the crew mutinied. What steps 
Drake took on his return home are nowhere stated ; but that 
he brought the business before the proper authority is evident 

* This letter was one of the many papers of the Cottonian Collection 
which were injured by the fire at Ashburnhain House in 1731. 

112 EXPEDITION TO CADIZ. [chap. vn. 

from Burroughs' answer to the Admiral's charges which is among 
the Lansdowne MSS. ; but the documents do not show what was 
the result of the proceedings. Captain Burroughs, however, was 
employed against the Armada as captain of the galley Bonavolio, 
250 men ; but he is not mentioned in the account of the destruc- 
tion of the Spanish fleet ; he obtained neither honours nor pro- 
motion, and does not appear to have been ever again employed. 



chap, viii.] THE SPANISH ARMADA. 113 




Pretence of treating for peace — Unworthy conduct of Spain — Predictions of 
triumph — Naval and military forces — Lord High Admiral puts to sea — 
Correspondence of Lord C. Howard and Sir F. Drake with the Queen, 
Sir Francis Walsingham, and Lords of the Council. 

Drake's last expedition, which he facetiously called " singeing 
the King of Spain's beard," had rendered it impossible for the 
Spaniards to attempt the invasion of England during that year, 
as they had fully intended, and for which they had considered 
themselves prepared, whilst England certainly was not. The 
number of transport-shipping, and the quantity of stores, provi- 
sions, and other equipments, which Drake had destroyed in their 
ports, was so great that it required a year to replace them. In 
the meantime, the Prince of Parma in behalf of Philip, and cer- 
tain commissioners on the part of Elizabeth, were continuing, in 
the Netherlands, the farce of negociating for a treaty of peace ; 
a mere pretence on both sides, begun, as was said, by the device 
of the Queen of England, to divert the hostile preparations of 
Spain, and continued by the Spaniard for the sake of conceal- 
ment, and in order to take England by surprise ; striving, as 
Camden says, on both sides, " to sew the foxe's skin to the 

But long before the commission was dissolved, all attempt at 
concealment on the part of Spain had ceased ; and it was publicly 
known that, encouraged by the Pope, Philip had avowed his 
determination to make the conquest of England, by which the 
true church of God and the Roman Catholic religion would be 
restored, and heresy abolished. It was asserted that the cause 
was just and meritorious, the Queen being already excommuni- 


114 THE SPANISH ARMADA, [chap. vm. 

cate, and contumacious against the church of Rome ; and also 
supporting the King of Spain's rebel subjects in the Netherlands, 
annoying the Spaniards by constant depredations, surprising and 
sacking their towns in Spain and America, and having, not long 
before, put to death the Queen of Scotland, thereby violating the 
majesty of all sovereign princes. 

Among the most active promoters of the invasion of England 
was Bernardin Mendoza, formerly ambassador from Spain at the 
court of London, and now at Paris. His hatred of Elizabeth for 
having got rid of him was inveterate ; and by means of the press, 
which was at his disposal, he disseminated every species of false- 
hood and invective against England ; and confidently proclaimed 
the overthrow of that kingdom, by the immense forces of Philip 
then in preparation ; asserting also the weakness of Elizabeth in 
her naval and military establishments, and withal the disaffection 
of her subjects. There was resident in London at this time an 
English Catholic missionary (or seminary) priest, who took the 
trouble to write a voluminous letter to Mendoza, to disabuse 
him and his partisans of the erroneous opinions they were 
propagating respecting England ; stating to him at the same time 
what he conceived to be the more proper conduct for Spain to 
pursue. He asserts that the success of a foreign invasion of 
England depended less on a large army being landed, than on a 
strong Catholic party in England, ready to join the foreign forces 
on their landing ; he recommends a more politic line of conduct 
than that of having recourse to the Pope's excommunication of 
the sovereign, or his usurped power of absolving subjects from 
their allegiance, and disposing of kingdoms by violence, blood, 
slaughter, and conquest ; above all, he points out the necessity of 
concealing their intentions till the time comes for striking the 
blow effectually : — 

" For," says he, " when such things are published without reserve, they 
only induce the Queen to strengthen her kingdom, by calling out the mili- 
tary, and to guard those parts of the coast where a landing is feasible. Be- 
sides," he adds, " every nobleman, knight, and gentleman of fortune, imme- 
diately took the alarm, and thought it time, for their own and the public 
safety, by arming their servants and dependents."* 

There is reason to suppose that this letter never reached Men- 

* Harleian Miscellany. 

chap, vin.] CALLED THE INVINCIBLE. 115 

doza : had he received it, however, he was not the man to have 
been moved by such arguments. This honest priest — an English- 
man, be it remembered — is said to have been executed for treason, 
committed during the time that the Armada was on its way to 

Not only Mendoza and his partisans, but all the priests, politi- 
cians, and poets of Spain, were sedulously employing their pens 
in proclaiming her approaching glorious triumph, of which they 
said it would be little short of impiety to entertain a doubt. In 
almost all these effusions the two great points insisted upon were 
to take the Queen and kill the Drake. 

The enthusiasm which prevailed in Spain the preceding year, 
did not appear to have been in the least diminished by the destruc- 
tive operations of Drake, or the delusive negociations in the 
Netherlands : on the contrary, the Spaniards were more eager 
than ever to make the attempt. Alphonso Perez de Gusman, 
Duke of Medina Sidonia, was appointed to the chief command, 
and John Martinez Recalde, an experienced seaman, to be second 
in command under him. The Duke of Paliano and the Marquis 
of Santa Croce were originally designed to fill these offices, but 
they both died before the preparations were completed ; and it 
was said that the marquis received his death-blow from Drake, at 
Cascais, the preceding year ; at least he fell sick almost imme- 
diately after those transactions, and never recovered. 

On putting to sea, the Duke of Medina Sidonia was instructed 
to keep as near to the coast of France as wind and weather would 
permit, in order to avoid falling in with the English fleet ; and 
to proceed to Calais, where he might expect to meet the Duke of 
Parma, with a fleet of small vessels and 40,000 men : if the duke 
were not arrived, he was to come to anchor in a place of safety 
thereabouts, and wait his joining ; when the whole were to stand 
over and enter the Thames, directing their course for London ; 
which it was presumed would be taken by a sudden assault, or 
fall after a single battle. In laying down this plan of operations, 
they were not aware that Lord Henry Seymour had already taken 
his station, with a fleet of sixty English and Dutch ships, to pre- 
vent the Duke of Parma from coming out of harbour. 

The Duke of Sidonia, however, on his arrival in the Groyne, 
to which port the fleet had been driven for refuge by stress of 


116 THE SPANISH ARMADA, [chap. vm. 

weather, was induced to deviate from the king's instructions, in 
consequence of false information received from the master of an 
English barque, that the English fleet were lying inactive in Ply- 
mouth Sound, and were unprepared to meet such an armament. 
Relying on this information, the general Don Diego de Valdez, 
an able and experienced seaman, on whose opinion the greatest 
reliance was placed, and who in fact was the chief adviser of the 
original plan, prevailed on the duke to deviate from it, and pro- 
ceed direct to Plymouth in order to attack the British fleet un- 
prepared in that port ; which, he said, if once destroyed, would 
lay all England open to their victorious arms. 

Here again they evinced how ill they were informed : Eng- 
land was now fully prepared to receive them. The Queen had 
appointed Charles Lord Howard of Effingham, Lord High 
Admiral of England, to the chief command : his good qualities 
had placed him very high in her favour ; she knew him to be 
brave, and if not eminently skilled in sea affairs, that he was wary 
and provident, industrious and active, and of great authority and 
esteem among the officers of her navy. Sir Francis Drake was 
next sent for, and received from the Queen his commission as 
Vice- Admiral, next in command to Lord Charles Howard : his 
established fame for seamanship, resolution, and forethought, 
filled every English breast with confidence. Lord Henry Sey- 
mour, second son of the Duke of Somerset, was already in com- 
mand of a squadron of ships, English and Netherlander, sent to 
watch the Prince of Parma, and prevent his putting to sea with 
his forces to join the Armada. 

Her Majesty was not disappointed in the activity displayed by 
her two commanders, Lord Charles Howard and Sir Francis 
Drake. Lord Charles immediately hoisted his flag in the Ark 
Royal, and having obtained information of the movements of 
the enemy, addressed the following letter to Sir Francis Wal- 
singham : — 

Lord C. Howard to Sir Francis Walsingham. 

Sir, 9th March, 1587-8. 

As I had maed up my other letter, Capten Fourbysher dowthe adver- 
tyse me that he spake with 2 sbyps that chame presently from Lysbone, who 
declared unto him that for certenty the King of Spaynse flyte dowthe parte 
from Lysbon unto the Groyne, the 1 5 of this monthe by ther acounte. Sir, 




tlier is non that comse from Spayne but bryngse this advertysment, and yf it 
be trew I am afrayd it wyll not be helped when the tyme sarvethe. Surly 
this charge that heer Majestie is at is ether to muche er to lyttell, and the 
stay that is maed of Sir Francys Drake going owt I am afrayd will bred 
graet parell, and yf the King of Spayne dow send forces ether into this 
Relme, Irland, or Scotland, the Queene's Majestie shall say, the Duke of 
Parme is tretyng of a pece, and therfor it is not pryncly downe of his master 
to dow so in the tyme of Trete, but what is that to the pourpos yf we have 
by that a Casado. And yf her Majestie chanot show the King's hande his 
sarvant's hande wyll be but a bad warant, yf they have ther wyshe. Sir, 
for my selfe I am detarmyned to end my lyfe in it, and the matter is not 
graet : I protest my graetest care is for heer Majestie's honour and surte. I 
send you a letter that now as I wryght, I receved from a man of myne, 
wyche afyrmeth the lyk. And so, Sir, I tak my leave from aboarde the Ark 
Rawly (Royal), the 9 Ma. at 12 o'clock at nyght. 

Your very lovynge frend, 

C. Howard.* 
To the Righte Honorable my verie 

lovinge freinde Sir ffrances Walsingham, Knighte : 
Principall Secretare unto Her Majestie. 

Drake was equally ready, and proceeded to Plymouth, where 
he hoisted his flag in the Revenge. 

The following is an abstract of the several squadrons composing 
the English and Spanish naval forces : — 

No. of 





Her Majesty's Ships under the Lord Higl 


Admiral .... 




Serving by tonnage with the Lord High Admira 

I 750 



Serving with Sir F. Drake 




Fitted out by the City 




Coasters with the Lord High Admiral 




Coasters with the Lord Henry Seymour 




Volunteers with the Lord High Admiral 








Vessels not mentioned in the King's-Library lis 

t — 





* MS. State Paper Office. 

f Lediard's Naval History. 



[chap. VIII. 

No. of 








Squadron of Portuguese Gal- 

leons under the Generalissimo 






Fleet of Biscay, Captain Ge- 
neral Don Juan Martinez 

de Recalde 






Fleet of Castile, General Don 

Diego de Valdez 






Andalusian Squadron, Ge- 

neral Don Pedro de Valdez 






Squadron of Guypuscoa, Don 

Mighel de Oquendo 






Eastern fleet or Levantiscas, 

Don Martin Ventendona . 






Fleet called Ureas or Hulks, 
Don Juan Lopez de Me- 







Pataches and Zabras, Don 

Antonio de Mendoza 





4 Galiasses of Naples, Don 

Hugo de Moncada 






The Galleys of Portugal, 

Don Diego de Mendrana . 


* 200 








Besides 2088 Galley Slaves.* 
The comparison then of the two forces will stand thus 




more E. 


more S. 



more S. 

21,855 soldiers 

30,621 men 

more S. 

So that the Spaniards had double the force of the English, 
except in the number of ships ; and in guns nearly four times the 

* The author, after consulting the best authorities and several manuscripts, 
does not hesitate to say that these lists of the two fleets are the most com- 
plete and perfect that have hitherto appeared. They also very nearly agree 
with an average obtained from demi-official returns. 

chap, vin.] CALLED THE INVINCIBLE. 119 

force. The only cannon of 60 lb. shot, in the whole of the 
English fleet, being nineteen pieces, and twenty-eight pieces of 
demi-cannon of 33 lb. shot. The rest of their armament consisted 
of culverins, demi-culverins, sakers, mynions, falcons, and other 
small pieces. 

How the merchant-ships were armed does not appear; but, 
looking at their tonnage, two-thirds of them at least would have 
been of but little, if any, service ; and, indeed, it must have re- 
quired uncommon vigilance to keep them out of harm's way. 

Even the best of the Queen's ships, placed alongside one of the 
first class of Spanish line-of-battle ships, would have been like a 
sloop-of-war by the side of a first-rate. Their high forecastles, 
always well manned, and bearing one or two tiers of guns, and 
their high poops equally well fortified, made it extremely difficult 
to board them ; as the musketry from these castles would pick the 
men off on reaching the main-deck : and it was an article in the 
general Instructions of the Spanish fleet, that every ship should 
be supplied with a chest or cask full of stones to hurl down upon 
the boarders. The odds therefore were great against the English. 
But the English heart and English seamanship made ample 
amends for all deficiencies. The danger, however, was for- 
midable. Spain at this time possessed the first navy in Europe ; 
and her numerous and well disciplined army was inferior to none. 
In addition to their large ships, galleons and galiasses, they had 
a fleet of hulks stored with provisions and ammunition, and every 
article that could be required for establishing themselves on shore. 
So certain were they of success, that there were in the fleet up- 
wards of 100 (some say 180) monks, or friars, and Jesuits, ad 
propagandam fidem among the heretics ; and there were English 
papist traitors among them to instruct the others in the language. 
Every device was adopted to give a sacred character to the inva- 
sion ; twelve of their ships were named after the twelve Apostles : 
and such was the prevailing enthusiasm, that every noble family 
in Spain had a son, or brother, or nephew, serving in the fleet as 
a volunteer. 

Nor was the enthusiastic spirit of the sons and relatives of the 
English nobility and gentry less strong. A great number of 
them joined the auxiliary ships, which poured in to reinforce 

120 THE SPANISH ARMADA, [chap. viii. 

the fleet from all quarters. The citizens of London, in the first 
instance, requested they might send fifteen stout ships, with 5000 
men, to the fleet ; and ultimately they supplied no less than thirty- 
eight ships, and 10,000 men, of whom 2700 were seamen. 

Nothing, indeed, could exceed the general expression of love 
and duty towards the Queen ; who, with a dignity of spirit equal 
to the wisdom of her measures, gave a striking example of devo- 
tion to her country and her faith ; boldly placing herself at the 
head of her troops, and taking her stand at Tilbury Fort, to 
arrest the progress of the enemy, should they dare to approach 
her capital. The speech she delivered on the occasion was 
worthy of a great and noble mind : — 

" My loving people," she said, " we have been persuaded by some that are 
careful of our safety, to take heed how we commit ourselves to armed multi- 
tudes, for fear of treachery ; but assure you, I do not desire to live to distrust 
my faithful and loving people. Let tyrants fear : I have always so behaved 
myself, that, under God, I have placed my chiefest strength and safeguard 
in the loyal hearts and goodwill of my subjects. And therefore I am come 
amongst you at this time, not as for my recreation or sport, but being re- 
solved, in the midst and heat of the battle, to live or die amongst you all ; to 
lay down, for my God, and for my kingdom, and for my people, my honour 
and my blood, even in the dust. I know I have but the body of a weak and 
feeble woman, but I have the heart of a King, and of a King of England too ; 
and think foul scorn that Parma or Spain, or any prince of Europe, should 
dare to invade the borders of my realms : to which, rather than any disho- 
nour should grow by me, I myself will take up arms : I myself will be your 
general, judge, and rewarder of every one of your virtues in the field. I 
know already, by your forwardness, that you have deserved rewards and 
crowns ; and we do assure you, on the word of a prince, they shall be duly 
paid you. In the mean time my lieutenant-general shall be in my stead, 
than whom never prince commanded a more noble and worthy subject ; not 
doubting by your obedience to my general, by your concord in the camp, 
and your valour in the field, we shall shortly have a famous victory over 
those enemies of my God, of my kingdom, and of my people." 

The number of troops that attended the Queen at Tilbury 
were — 56,000 foot and 3000 horse ; and 20,000 soldiers were 
stationed along the coast. 

Early in March the Lord High Admiral, having made his 
arrangements, hoisted his flag, as already stated, on board the 
Ark Royal ; and proceeded to visit the stations on which his 
fleet was placed, beginning with that of Lord H. Seymour in 

chap, viii.] CALLED THE INVINCIBLE. 121 

the Downs, which was appointed to watch Dunkirk ; and then 
intending to proceed to Plymouth, where Drake was preparing 
the Western Squadron. * 

Sir Francis Drake to the Lords of the Council. 

30 March, 1588. 
Righte Honorable and my verie good Lordes, 

Understandinge by your good Lordships' letters her Majestie's goode 
inclynacion for the speedye sendinge of theise forces here unto the seas, for 
the defence of the enemye, and that, of her Majestie's greate favor, and your 
Lordship's good opynyon, you have made choice of me (althoughe the least 
of manye) to be as an actor in so greate a cause, I am moste humblie to be- 
seeche my moste gracious Soveraigne and your good Lordships to heare my 
poore opynyon with favor, and so to judge of it accordinge to your greate 

If her Majestie and your Lordships thincke that the King of Spaigne 
meanethe any invasyon in Englande, then doubtlesse his force is and will be 
greate in Spaigne, and thereon he will make his groundworke, or foundation, 
whereby the prynce of Parma maye have the better entraunce, which in 
myne owne judgemente is most to be feared : but if there maye be suche a 
staye or stoppe made, by any meanes of this ffleete, in Spaigne, that they 
maye not come throughe the seas as conquerors (which I assure myselfe they 
thincke to doe) then shall the Prince of Parma have suche a checke there- 
bye as were meete. > 

To prevente this I thincke it goode that theise forces here shoulde be made 
as stronge as to your Honors' wisdomes shall be thoughte convenyente, and 
that for two speciall causes: ffirste, for that they are like to strike the firste 
blowe, and secondlie, it will putt greate and goode hartes into her Majestie's 
lovinge subjectes bothe abroade and at home, ffor that they will be perswaded 
in conscyence that the Lord of all strengthes will putt into her Majestie and 
her people coraige & boldness not to feare any invasyon in her owne countrie, 
but to seeke God's enemyes and her Majesties' where they maye be founde : 
ffor the Lorde is on our side, whereby we may assure ourselves our nombers 
are greater than theirs- I muste crave pardon of your good Lordships againe 
and againe, for my conscience hath caused me to putt my pen to the paper, 
and as God in his goodnes hathe putt my hande to the ploughe, so in his 
mercy he will never suffer me to turne backe from the truthe. 

My verie good Lords, next, under God's mightie proteccion, the advan- 
taige and gaine of tyme and place, will be the onlie and cheife meane for our 
goode, wherein I most humblie beseeche your good Lordships to persever as 
you have began, for that with feiftie saile of shippinge we shall doe more 
good uppon their owne coaste, then a greate manye more will doe here at 
home, and the sooner we are gone the better we shall be able to ympeache 

There is come home, synce the sending awaie of my laste messenger one 
bark (whome I sente out as an Espiall), who confyrmeth those intelligences 

122 THE SPANISH ARMADA, [chap. vim. 

-whereof I have advertized your Lordships by him ; and that divers of those 
Biskaines are abroade uppon that coaste, wearinge Englishe flagges, whereof 
there are made in Lisbone three hundreth, with the redde Crosse, which is a 
great presumptcons proceedinge of the hautynes & pride of the Spaynierde, 
and not to be tollerated by any true naturall Englishe harte. 

I have herein enclosed sente this note unto your Lordships, to consider of 
our proporcions in powlder, shotte, and other munycion, under the hande of 
the surveyor's clerke of the ordynaunce : the which proporcion in powlder 
and shotte for our greate ordynaunce in her Majestie's shippes is but for one 
daie and halfe's servyce, if it be begonne and contynewed as the service may 
requyer; and but five lastes of powlder for 24 saile of the marchaunte 
shippes, which will scante be suffytient for one daie's service, and divers oc- 
casyons maye be oflred. 

Good my Lords, I beseeche you to consider deeplie of this, for it importeth 
but the losse of all. 

I have staied this messenger somewhat the longer for the hearinge of this 
Ducheman who came latelie out of Lisbone, and hath delivered theise adver- 
tisements herein enclosed under his hande the 28th of this Marche before 
myselfe and.divers Justices. 

I have sente unto your good Lordships the note of such powlder and mu- 
nytyon as are delivered unto us, for this great service, which in truthe I 
judge to be just a thirde parte of that which is needefull : ffor if we should 
wante it when we shall have moste neede thereof it will be too late to sende 
to the Tower for it. I assure your Honors it neither is or shall be spente in 
vaine. And thus restinge at your Honors' farther direccion, I humblie take 
my leave of your good Lordships. 

From Plymowth this xxxth of Marche, 1588. 

Your good Lordships' 

verie ready to be 4 commaunded, 

Fra: Drake.* 
To the righte Honorable & my verie 

goode Lordes the Lordes of Her Majestie's 
Most Honorable Previe Counsell. 

Sir Francis Drake to the Queen. 
Most gracyous Soveraigne, 13 April, 1588. 

I have receaved from Mr. Secreatary som particuller notes and withall 
a commandment, to awnswere them unto your Majestie. 

The first is that your Majestie would willyngly be satisfyed from me how 
the forces nowe in Lysbone myght best be dystressed. 

Trewly this poynt is hardly to be awnswered as yeat, for tow specyall 
cawses, the fyrst, for that our intelligences are as yeat uncertayne. The 
second, is the resolucyon of our owne people, which I shall better under- 
stand when I have them at sea. The last insample at Calles is not of dyvers 
yeat forgotten, for one such flying nowe, as Borrowghes dyd then, will put 

* MS. State Paper Oflace. 

chap, viii.] CALLED THE INVINCIBLE. 123 

the wholle in perille ffor that the enemyes strengthe is now so great gathred 
together and redy to invade;— hut yf your Majestie will geve present order 
for our proceeding to the sea, and send to the strengthning of this fleett here, 
fower more of your Majestie's good shippes, and those 16 saill of shipes 
with their penaces which ar preparing in London, then shall your Majestie 
stand assured, with God's assistance, that yf the flett come out of Lysborne 
as long as we have vittuall to leve withall, uppon that cost, they shall be 
fowght with, and I hope, throwghe the goodnes of our mercyfull God, in 
suche sort as shall hynder his qwyett passage into Yngland, for I assure your 
Majestie, I have not in my lyffe time knowen better men and possessed with 
gallauter mynds then your Majestie's people are for the most parte, which 
are here gathred together, vollontaryllye to put ther hands and hartts to the 
fynyshing of this great piece of work, wherein we ar all perswaded that 
God, the gever of all victoryes, will in mercye lowke uppon your most ex- 
cellent Majestie, and us your power subjects, who for the defence of your 
Majestie, our relygyon, and natyve country, have resolutly vowed the hassard 
of our lyves. 

The advantage of tyme and place in all marciall accyons is half a victory, 
which being lost is irrecoverable, wherefore, if your Majestie will comaund 
me away with those shipes which ar here alredye, and the rest to follow 
with all possible expedycyon, I hold it in my power opynyon the surest and 
best cowrse, and that they bring with them vittualls suffycyent for them- 
selves and us, to the intent the service be not utterly lost for want thereof : 
Whereof I most humbly beseche your most excellent Majestie to have such 
consideracyon as the wayghtenes of the cawse reqwyrethe. For an Ynglysh- 
man being farre from his country and seing a present wante of vittuall to 
insue, and perseaving no beneffytt to be lowked for, but only blowes, will 
hardlye be browght to staye. 

I have order but for tow monthes vittualles begynning the 24th of Aprell, 
whereof one wholl monthe may be spent before we com there, the other 
monthes vittuall will be thowght, with the least to bring us back agayne ; 
here may the wholl service and honour be lost for the sparing of a fewe 

Towching my power opynyon how strong your Majesties fleet should be 
to encounter this great force of the enemey, God encreac your most excellent 
Majestie's forces, both by sea and land, dayly : for this I surly thincke ther 
was never any force so stronge as ther is now redye or makynge readye 
agaynst your Majestye and trewe relygyon, but that the Lord of all strengthes 
is stronger and will defend the trewth of his word, for his owne name's sake, 
unto the which God be all glory geven. Thus all humble duty, I conty- 
newally will pray to the Allmyghtye to blesse and give you victorye over 
all his, and your enemeyes. From Plymothe this 13 of Aprell 1588. 

Your Majesties most loyall 
To the Queene's Fra : Drake."* 

Moste excellente Majestie. 

* MS. State Paper Office. 

124 THE SPANISH ARMADA, [chap. viii. 

In another letter, of the 28th of April, Sir Francis acquaints 
her Majesty with the intelligence he had gained, that the mer- 
chant ships of foreign nations had been detained in the several 
ports of Spain, and had been embargoed : he mentions also the 
reports he had received of the great preparations of the enemy ; 
that he considers the embargo as a token of their intention of 
coming out ; and suggests that her forces should go out and 
meet them at a distance from England .* after this the letter thus 
proceeds : — 

That if a goode peace for your Majestie be not forthwith concluded (which 
I as moche as anie man desirethe) then theise greate preparacions of the 
Spayneyerde maie be speedelie prevented as moche as in your Majestie 
liethe, by sendinge your forces to encounter them somewhat farre of, and 
more neere their owne coaste, whicb will be the better cheape for your 
Majestie and people, and muche the deerer for the enemye. 

Thus muche (as duetie byndethe me) I have thought goode to signifie 
unto your Majestie, for that it importethe but the hazerde or losse of all : 
The promise of peace from the Prince of Parma and these mightie prepara- 
cions in Spaigne agree not well together : Undoubtedlie I thincke theise 
advertisements true ; ffor that I cannot heare by anye man of warre, or other- 
wise, that anie shippe is permytted to departe Spaigne, which is a vehemente 
presumpcion that they holde their purposed pretences : And for farther testy - 
monie of theise reports I have sente this bearer, a Captaine of one of your 
Majestie's shippes, who (if it shall please your Highnes to permytte him) 
can deliver some thinges touchinge the same. 

Thus restinge allwaies most bounden unto your Majestie for your gracious 
and favourable speeches used of me, both to Mr. Secretarie and others (which 
I desier God no longer to lette me live then I will be readye to doe your 
Majestie all the duetifull service I possiblie maie), I will contynewallie praye 
to God to blesse your Majestie with all happie victories. 

From Plymouthe this 28th of Aprill, 1588. 
Your Majestie's most loiall, 

Fra: Drake. 

On the 23rd of May, the Lord High Admiral announced to 
the government his arrival at Plymouth. He says that Drake 
had come out to meet him with sixty sail of ships very well 
appointed ; he states, also, his intention to proceed to sea, and 
stand off and on, between the coasts of England and Spain, to 
watch the coming of the Spanish forces. 

Accordingly, the Lord High Admiral, with the western 
squadron, put to sea, and proceeded within a short distance of 
the coast of Spain, when a strong southerly wind drove them 

chap, vin.] CALLED THE INVINCIBLE. 125 

back to Plymouth. Here he found a letter waiting for him, dated 
the 9th of June, from Sir Francis Walsingham, written by com- 
mand of the Queen, signifying her Majesty's pleasure, that he 
should not go so far from the English coast ; and assigning, as 
the reason for this order, the importance of not leaving the 
shores of England unprotected. Lord Howard, in his reply, 
dated the loth, says, 

" It was deeply debated by those whom the world doth judge to be men 
of the greatest experience, that this realme hath, which are these: Sir 
Francis Drake, Mr. Hawkins, Mr. Frobisher, and Mr. Thomas Fenner ; and 
I hope Her Majesty will not thinke we went so rashlie to worke, or without 
a principal, or choice care and respect of the safetie of this realme. And if 
we found they did but linger on their own coast, or put into the isles of 
Bayonne or the Groyne, then we thought, in all men's judgments that be of 
experience here, it had bin most fit to have sought some good waie : and the 
surest we could devise (by the good protection of God) to have defeated 

And he further gives her Majesty to understand, that if the 
fleet are to stand off and on betwixt England and Spain, the 
south-west wind, which might carry the Spaniards to Scotland 
or Ireland, would throw him to leeward ; that on the contrary, 
if his fleet was high up in the Channel, the Spaniards might 
succeed in reaching the Isle of Wight. 

On the 23rd of June he addressed another letter to Sir Francis 
Walsingham : — 


This Sonday about 7 of the cloke at nyght I recevid your letter of the 
22 of this present, and the advertysments with them, wyche I dow most 
hartely thank you for : but I parceave by your letter there shuld another 
letter come from my Lordse to Mr. Dorell, and also a warante that the 
poursyfant should brynge, wyche shuld be open for me, but he nether browght 
the Lordse letter nor any suche warrant. Sir, I pray you pardon me that I 
dow not send yow the namse of the townse devyded, suche as be wyllyng, 
and suche as be not. Sir F. Drake hathe the newse of them, now at this 
ower is full ocupyed, as I am also. Our watche chame to us this last nyght 
about 12 of the cloke, and we wyll not ete nor slype till it be abourd us. We 
must not lose an ower of tyme. You shall see by a letter that I have sent 
Heer Majestie what advertysment I have. I meen to way presently and set 
sayle : this foull wether that was on Thursday, that forsed us in surty, dis- 
parsed the Spanyshe flyt : it shall goo hard but I wyll fynd them out. Let 
Heer Majestie trust no mor to Judises kyses ; for let heer asure heerself ther 
is no trust to F. K. (French king) nor Duke of Parme. Let heer defend 

126 THE SPANISH ARMADA, [chap. viii. 

heerself lyke a noble and mightie Prynce : and trust to heer sworde and not 
to ther word, and then she ned not to feer, for heer good God wyll defend 

Sir, I have a pryvy intelligence, by a sure fello, that the flyt of Spayne 
dowthe meen to come to the cost of France, and ther to receve in the Duke of 
Guyse, and great forses : and it is very lykly to be trew. I meen, God 
wyllyng, to vyset the cost of France, and to send in small penyses to discover 
all the cost alongst. 

If I heer of them, I hope, ar it be long after, you shall heer newse. God 
Mr. Secretary, let the narro sees be well strantened (strengthened). What 
charge is ill spent now for service ? Let the Hoyse of Harwyge (Harwich) 
goo with all speed agayne to my Lord H. Semor, for they be of great 

Sir, for these thyngs here I pray take order with Mr. Dorell, for I have 
no lesur to thynk of them. I pray you, Sir, delyver my letter unto Heer 
Majestie with my humble duty, and so in hast I bid you farewell. 

Abourd the Arke, this Sonday, at 12 of the cloke at nyght. 
Your assured lovying frend, 

C. Howard.* 
(No date, but supposed June 23rd, 1588.) 

Sir. God wyllyng, I wyll com sayll within this three houers. 
To my very lovyng frend, 
Mr. Secretary Walsyngham. 

* MS. State Paper Office. 

chap, ix.] CALLED THE INVINCIBLE. 127 




The Armada in the Channel — Anecdote of Drake — First attack — Spanish 
MS. Journal — Daily proceedings of the two fleets — The Armada is dis- 
persed by fire-ships — Driven into the North Sea — Its disastrous condition 

* — Letters from the Lord High Admiral, Sir Francis Drake, and Lord 
Henry Seymour. 

The day now approached when the great contest was to be 
decided between two of the most powerful fleets that had 
hitherto ever met in hostile array. On the 19th day of July, 
the Lord High Admiral received certain information from one 
Fleming, the master of a pinnace, that the Spanish fleet was 
in the Channel, near the Lizard Point ; and great exertions were 
made to tow the British fleet out of Plymouth Harbour, al- 
though the wind was blowing in stiffly ; but the alacrity and 
energy of the men and officers, encouraged by the Admiral in 
person, overcame all difficulties. 

It is reported, that when the news reached the British Navy 
of the sudden appearance of the Armada off the Lizard, the 
principal commanders were on shore at Plymouth playing bowls, 
on the Hoe : and it is added that Drake insisted on the match 
being played out, saying, that " There would be plenty of time 
to win the game, and beat the Spaniards too."* __ — — ~ ~ 

On the following day, the 20th, the Spanish fleet were disco- 
vered with their lofty turrets, like so many floating castles; 
their line extending its wings about seven miles, in the shape 
of a half-moon, proceeding very slowly, though with full sail ; 
" The winds," says Camden, " being as it were tired with carry- 
ing them, and the ocean seeming to groan under the weight of 
their heavy burdens." 

On the 21st of July, the Lord High Admiral, on their pass- 
* Tytler's Raleigh, Edin. edit, 1835. 

128 THE SPANISH ARMADA, [chap. ix. 

ing, sent out his pinnace, named the Disdain, in advance, and 
challenged the Duke of Sidonia to give the defiance, by firing 
off her ordnance, as a declaration of war, upon which being 
done, his own flag-ship, the Ark Royal, " thundered thick and 
furiously" upon a large ship which he thought to be the Spanisli 
Admiral, but which was that of Alphonso de Leyva. At the 
same time Drake, Hawkins, and Frobisher played stoutly upon 
the rear division of the fleet, commanded by General Juan de 
Recalde ; whose ship and others, being much shattered, made 
shift to get away to the main body, under the Duke of Medina 

A manuscript account of the Spanish Armada was sent, from 
the archives of Madrid, to a gentleman in the Admiralty, after 
the conclusion of the revolutionary war. It is entitled ' A Nar- 
rative of the Voyages of the Royal Armada, from the Port of 
Corunna, under the command of the Duke of Medina Sidonia, 
with an account of the events which took place during the said 
Voyage.' It is written in Spanish, and is evidently a journal 
kept by an officer of the Duke of Medina's flag-ship. It is 
temperately and modestly written, and many of the facts stated 
in the following pages have been taken from it. This narrative 
says that the ship of Alphonso de Leyva was disabled, her rig- 
ging cut up, and two shot lodging in her foremast : that the 
flag-ship took in her sails, and waited to receive her into the 
line ; that the Duke now collected his scattered fleet, not being 
able to do mo're on this occasion, as the enemy had gained the 
wind. The English vessels, the author adds, were well fought, 
and under such good management, that they did with them 
what they pleased. The fight having continued two hours, and 
forty sail of the English fleet, those which had last come out 
of the harbour, not having yet joined, the Admiral deemed it 
expedient not to press the enemy further this day. 

The following letter from Lord Charles Howard describes the 
fight very briefly ; it is 

Lord C. Howard to Sir F. Walsingham. 

Sir, 21st July, 1588. 

I will not trouble you with anie longe letter. We are at this present 
otherwise occupied then with writinge. Uppon Fridaie at Plymouthe I re- 

chap, ix.] CALLED THE INVINCIBLE. 129 

ceaved intelligence that there were a greate number of ships descried of the 
Lisarde. Wheruppon, althoughe the winde was very skante, we firste warped 
out of harbour that nyghte, and uppon Saterdaie turned out verie hardly, the 
wind beinge at southe weste, and aboute 3 of the clock in the afternone 

descried the Spanishe fleete, and [ ] did what we could to worke for 

the wind, which [ ] morninge we had recovered discryinge theire 

[ ] consiste of 120 saile : Whereof there are 4 g[ ] and many 

ships of greate burthen. At nine of the [ ] we gave them feighte, which 

contynewed untill [ ] feighte. We made som of them to beare 

roome to stop their leaks. Notwithstandinge we durste not adventure to put 
in amongste them, theire fleete being soe stronge. But there shall nothinge 
be eather neglected or unhasarded that may worke theire overthrowe. 

Sir, the Captaines in her Majestie's ships have behaved themselves moste 
bravely and like men hitherto, and I doubte not will contynewe to their greate 
commendacion. And soe recomendinge oure good successe to your godlie 
praiers, I bid you hartelie farewell. From aboard the Arke, thwarte of Ply- 
mouthe; the 21 of Julie 1588. 

Youre verie lovinge freind, 

C. Howard.* 

(Postscript.) Sir, the sowtherly wynde that browght us bak from the cost 
of Spayne browght them out, God blessed us with tornynge us bak. Sir, for 
the love of God and our country, let us have with sume sped some graet 
shote sent us of all bignes, for this sarvis wyll contenew long, and sume 
powder with it. 

The Eighte Honorable 
my verie lovinge friende, 

Sir Francis Walsingham, knight.* 

Sir Francis Drake to Lord Henry Seymour. 
Eight Honorable and my verie good Lord, 

I am commaunded by my good Lord, the Lord Admiral, to send you 
the Carvaile in haste with this letter, geivinge your Lordship to understand 
that the armye of Spaigne arrived uppon our coaste the 20th of this presente, 
the 21th we had them in chase ; and so cominge upp unto them there hath 
passed some comen shotte betweene some of our fleete and some of theirs ; 
and as farre as we perceive they are determined to sell their lives with blowes. 
Whereuppon his Lordship hath commaunded me to write unto your Lordship 
and Sir William Wynter, that those shippes servinge under your charge 
should be putte into the best and strongest manner you maie, and readie to 
assiste his Lordship for the better incountering of them in those parts where 
you nowe are. In the meane tyme what his Lordship and the rest here 
following him maie doe, shall be suerelie performede. His Lordship hathe 

* MS. State Paper Office. Many of the letters of Lord Howard and Sir 
Francis Drake are so tattered, and the writing so obliterated and in parts so 
illegible, that it is impossible to follow the meaning. 


130 THE SPANISH ARMADA, [chap. ix. 

comaunded me to write his hartie commendations to your Lordship and Sir 
William Wynter. I doe salute your Lordship, Sir William Wynter, Sir 
Henry Pallmer, and all the rest of those honorable gentlemen serving under 
you with the like. Beseeching God of his mercie to geive her Majestie our 
gratious Soveraigne alwaies victorie against her enemyes. Written abord 
her Majesties good shipp the Revenge of Steart, this 21th (July), late in the 
evening, 1588. Your good Lordship's 

poore freend readie to be comaunded, t 

(Signed) Fra: Drake. 

This letter, my honorable good Lord, is sent in haste; the ffleete of 
Spanyards is somewhat about a hundredth sailes ; many great shipes, but 
trewly I thinck not half of them of warre, haste, your Lordship's assured, 

Fra. Drake. 
To the Right Honorable 
the Lord Henry Seymour, 

Admirall of her Majesties Navie in the narrowe 

Seas, or, in absence, to Sir William Wynter, knyght, 
geive theise with speed — hast, hast, hast.* 

In the evening of this day a large ship of Biscay, bearing the 
flag of Oquendo, and having the King's Treasurer on board, 
was set on fire ; designedly, as was supposed, by a Dutch gunner, 
who had received some ill-treatment, and who employed gun- 
powder for the purpose. The flame was, however, happily 
extinguished by some vessels which came to her relief; but not 
before the two decks and the poop blew up. In the Spanish 
narrative already referred to, no mention is made of the Dutch 

Another accident happened this evening. There was a large 
galleon, commanded by Don Pedro de Valdez, which in tacking 
fell foul of another, sprung her fore-mast, and was left behind ; 
the night being dark, and the sea running high, no succour 
could be afforded her. Diego de Florez represented to the duke 
the danger of lying to for this ship ; that if he did so, as the 
main body of the Armada was getting much a-head, he would 
find himself in the morning with only half his ships ; and that, 
the enemy being so near at hand, the safety of the whole fleet 
ought not to be hazarded for a single vessel ; in short, that, by 
doing so, the object of the expedition would be sacrificed. 

" The next day following," says Speed, " Sir Francis Drake, espying this 

MS. State Paper Office. 

chap, ix.] CALLED THE INVINCIBLE. 131 

lagging gallon, sent forth a pinnace to command them to yield, otherwise 
his bullets should force them without further favour ; but Valdez, to seeme 
valorous, answered, that they were foure hundred and fifty strong ; that him- 
self was Don Pedro, and stood on his honour, and thereupon propounded 
certain conditions. But the Knight sent his reply, that he had not leizure to 
parley ; if he would yield, presently doe it ; if not, he should well prove that 
Drake was no dastard ; whereupon Pedro, hearing that it was the fiery 
Drake (ever terrible to the Spaniards) who had him in chase, with 40 of his 
followers, came on board Sir Francis his ship ; where, first giving him the 
conge', he protested that he, and all his, were resolved to die in defence, had 
they not falne under his power, whose valour and felicity was so great that 
Mars and Neptune seemed to attend him in his attempts, and whose gene- 
rous minde towards the vanquished had often been experienced, even of his 
greatest foes. Sir Francis, requiting his Spanish compliments with honour- 
able English courtesies, placed him at his owne table, and lodged him in his 
owne cabbin. The residue of that company were sent into Plymouth, where 
they remained eighteene months 'til their ransoms were paid; but Sir 
Francis his souldiers had well paid themselves with the spoile of the shippe, 
wherein were fifty-five thousand ducats in gold, which they shared merrily 
among them." 

This ship was sent into Dartmouth. 

On the 22nd of July there was no fighting. In the course of 
the day the duke formed the Armada into two divisions, he 
taking the van, and Don Alonzo de Leyva the rear. 

" The Duke," says the Spanish narrative, " summoned to him all the 
Sargentos Mayores, and ordered them to proceed in a patache, so that each 
ship should keep the position assigned to her in the new order of sailing ; 
and he further gave them written orders, directing, that in case any ship did 
not observe the order, and quitted her post, the captain should forthwith be 
hanged, the Sargentos Mayores taking the provosts with them for that pur- 
pose ; and for the better execution of the order, they were distributed, three 
in the van and three in the rear division. On the same day the captain of 
the flag-ship of Oquendo reported to the Duke that she was sinking, on 
which he ordered that the crew and the Treasurer's money should be taken 
out of her, and the ship sunk." 

The crew and the treasure were accordingly removed into 
other vessels ; but the ship, instead of being sunk, was turned 
adrift, and was soon afterwards boarded by Lord Thomas 
Howard and Captain Hawkins, who found her decks fallen in, 
her steerage ruined, the stern blown out, and about fifty poor 
wretches burnt in a most miserable manner. The Admiral 
ordered a small bark to take possession of her, and in that shat- 
tered condition she was carried into Weymouth. 


132 THE SPANISH ARMADA, [chap. ix. 

On the 23rd of July there was what may be termed a second 
fight ; brought on by both the fleets endeavouring to obtain the 
weather-gage, in the course of which there was no little confu- 
sion ; caused in a great degree by the large number of merchant 
ships in the English fleet. Some of the London ships, being 
surrounded by Spaniards, were rescued by a brave attack of a 
few of her Majesty's ships ; while the Spaniards boldly rein- 
forced the squadron of Recalde, which was suffering much by a 
spirited attack of the English rear division. After this a run- 
ning fight took place, the two Admirals crossing each other, and 
each sustaining the fire of his opponent. 

According to the Spanish ' Narrative,' all the galleons and 
galleasses were engaged this day. " The English," says the 
writer, " came united against the duke's flag-ship, whilst she 
was advancing to the assistance of Recalde and De Leyva ; and 
each ship of the English fleet as she passed gave her fire to the 
Spanish flag-ship, till at length four or five of their largest ships 
came to her support." He says that frequent attempts were 
made to board our ships, but they were so light and well ma- 
naged that there was little hope of succeeding. 

" The great guns," says Camden, " rattled like so many peals of thunder ; 
but the shot from the high-built Spanish ships flew for the most part over the 
heads of the English without doing any execution, owing to their high fore- 
castles, and their inability to depress their guns. One Mr. Cook (or Cope) 
was the only Englishman that died bravely in the midst of his enemies, com- 
manding his own ship. The reason was, that the English ships were moved 
and managed with such agility, giving their broadsides to the larger and 
more unwieldy of the enemy, and sheering off again just as they pleased, 
while the Spanish heavy ships lay as so many butts for the English to 
fire at." 

It was suggested to the Lord High Admiral, with more zeal 
than discretion, that the English ships should board the Spa- 
niards ; which would have been a most ruinous proceeding, con- 
sidering the size of their ships, the great advantage of their high 
forecastles and poops, the number of troops each had on board, 
and that their ships of war were four to one of ours. He, very 
prudently, acted more on the defensive ; and refrained from 
attempting to obtain decisive results at the risk of ruining the 
only fleet that England possessed ; knowing that if, by any 
imprudent step, that fleet should be destroyed, the great object 

chap, ix.] CALLED THE INVINCIBLE. 133 

of the enemy would be gained, and her army landed on the 
British shores. It was, therefore, his policy to keep his ships as 
much as possible between those of the enemy and the shore. 

On the 24th there was a cessation on both sides ; and the Lord 
High Admiral took the opportunity of dividing his fleet into four 
squadrons: the first under himself; the second under Sir Francis 
Drake ; the third under Hawkins ; and the fourth under Fro- 
bisher. He also sent some of the smaller vessels to the neigh- 
bouring ports for a supply of powder and ammunition. 

On the 25th a galleon of Portugal, the St. Anne, not being 
able to keep up with the fleet, was taken by some of the Eng- 
lish ships. Don Alonzo de Leyva, with Don Diego Felles 
Enriques, attempted to rescue her with three galleasses ; but 
were warmly received by the Lord Admiral himself, and the 
Lord Thomas Howard in the Golden Lion, who, there being no 
wind, had their ships towed by boats ; and succeeded, after much 
labour and considerable loss, in carrying off the galleon. From 
this time none of the galleasses ever ventured to contend with 
the English ships of war. 

The Lord Admiral, with some other ships, made an attack 
upon the Spanish Admiral's ship, cut the rigging of her main- 
mast, and killed several of her men. But five or six of the 
larger Spanish ships coming up to her rescue, and a great por- 
tion of their fleet advancing, the Lord Admiral desisted. 

The 'Narrative' states, that the English flag-ship was so 
much damaged and in such danger that she was towed off by 
eleven launches ; that she struck her standard, and fired guns as 
signals of distress ; that on seeing this, the Spanish Admiral and 
a great part of the fleet made towards her ; but the English, 
also standing towards their Admiral for his support, and the 
wind springing up, the launches were cut off, and the Spaniards 
gave up the attempt. The writer adds : " We made certain this 
day of being able to board the English ships, which was the 
only means of obtaining any decisive advantage." On this day 
the duke dispatched an officer to Dunkirk, being the third he had 
sent to apprise the Duke of Parma of their position off the Isle 
of Wight, and to urge his immediate coming out, and also his 
sending some shot for four, six, and ten-pounders, of which 
much had been expended in the late engagements. The duke 

134 THE SPANISH ARMADA, [chap, ix- 

was likewise informed how important it was that he should join 
the Armada the day of its appearing in sight of Dunkirk. In 
the evening of this day a breeze sprang up, and the Armada 
directed its course for Calais. 

On the 26th of July it was calm, and the fleets were in sight 
of each other. The duke repeated by another messenger to the 
Duke of Parma his urgent desire that he would send forty small 
vessels, to be employed against the enemy ; acquainting him that 
" the heaviness of his ships, compared to the lightness of the 
English, rendered it impossible for him in any manner to bring 
them to close action." The Lord High Admiral this day 
bestowed the honour of knighthood on Lord Thomas Howard, 
Lord Sheffield, Roger Townsend, Captain John Hawkins, and 
Captain Martin Frobisher, in consideration of their gallant beha- 
viour. And it was decided, in Council, that no further attempt 
should be made on the enemy, until they came into the Straits 
of Calais, where Lord Henry Seymour and Sir William Winter 
would reinforce the fleet. The following day (27th), in the 
afternoon, the Armada anchored off Calais, by the advice of 
the pilots, lest they should be carried away by the current into 
the North Sea ; and an officer was again sent off to the Duke of 
Parma, urging him to join them there, and stating at the same 
time the impossibility of their remaining long in that position 
without much risk to the whole Armada. 

Early on the morning of the 28th, says the Spanish * Narra- 
tive,' Captain Don Rodrigo Fello arrived from Dunkirk : and 
reported to the Spanish Admiral that the Duke of Parma was at 
Bruges, where he had waited upon him ; and that although his 
Grace had expressed much satisfaction at hearing of the arrival 
of the Armada, yet he was taking no steps to embark the troops 
or stores. 

This day the Lord Admiral was joined by Lord Henry Sey- 
mour ; and now he had a hundred and forty sail, all stout ships, 
and good sailors. They anchored not far from the Spanish fleet ; 
and at night the Lord Admiral (as is said by the Queen's especial 
command) singled out eight of his worst ships, charged them 
with pitch, tar, resin, and other combustibles, and loaded all their 
guns with bullets, chain-shot, and other destructive materials ; 
and thus equipped sent them before the wind and with the tide, a 

chap, ix.] CALLED THE INVINCIBLE. 135 

little after midnight, into the midst of the Spanish fleet. Their 
approach was no sooner discovered, than their prodigious blaze 
threw the whole fleet into consternation : anchors were got up 
and cables were cut amidst the greatest confusion. A large 
galleasse, having lost her rudder, was tossed about for some time, 
and finally driven on the sands near Calais ; here she was 
attacked by the Admiral's long-boat and some others ; the Spa- 
nish captain was killed by a shot in the head ; and the soldiers 
and rowers, to the number of 400, were either drowned or put to 
the sword. The ship and guns, after the English had set free 
300 galley-slaves, who were on board, and taken out 50,000 
ducats of gold, fell as a wreck to M. Gourdon, governor of 

Sir Francis Drake to Sir Francis Walsingham. 
Right Honorable, 29 July, 1 588. 

This bearer cam a bourd the ship I was in, in a wonderffull good tyme, 
and browght with hym as good knowlege as we could wyshe : his carffull- 
ness therin is worthye recompence, for that God hathe geven us so good a 
daye in forcyng the enemey so far to leeward, as I hope in God the prince of 
Parma and the Duke of Sedonya shall not shake hands this ffewe dayes. 
And whensoever they shall meett, I beleve nether of them will greatly 
reioyce of this dayes Servis. The towne of Callys hathe scene some parte 
therof, whose mayer her Majestie is beholding unto : Busynes comands me 
to end. God bless her Majestie our Gracyous Soveraygne and geve us all 
grace to leve in his feare. I assure your Honor this dayes servis hath much 
apald the enemey, and no dowbt but incouraged our armey. From a bourd 
her Majestie' s good ship the Revenge, this 29th July 1 588. 

Your Honor's most redy to be comanded, 

Fra: Drake. 
Ther must be great care taken to send us monycyon and Vittuall whether 
soever the enemey goeth. 
To the Righte Honorable 

Sir Francis Walsingham, 

Haste, haste, poste haste for Her Majesties service.* 

It is stated in the Spanish i Narrative ' that the Duke of Sidonia 
had his suspicions as to the intention of the English to employ 
fire-ships ; that he had enjoined the strictest vigilance ; and that, 
when the fire-ships approached, he gave orders for weighing 
anchor ; and also that, after they had passed, he lost no time in 

* MS. State Paper Office. 

133 THE SPANISH AKMADA, [chap. ix. 

directing his ships to resume their stations. But all was in vain : 
the Spaniards were panic-stricken, their ships were dispersed, and 
several got among the shoals on the coast of Flanders. In short, 
it now became clear that the game was up ; their retreating fleet 
was closely pursued, many of their galleons and other large ships 
attacked, taken or sunk, and the whole fleet in the greatest dis- 
tress. One of the heaviest blows they received was the defection 
of the Prince of Parma. 

On the 29th there was much fighting on the Flemish coast : 
several of the Spanish ships, three of which were of the largest 
size, are stated in the Spanish ' Narrative ' to have become unser- 
viceable, most of their crews being killed or wounded. In the 
midst of this distressing situation, in which it appears that many 
of the Spaniards behaved most nobly, the Duke of Sidonia was ' 
desirous of turning the whole of the remaining strength of the 
Armada against the English, in order still to maintain his posi- 
tion in the Channel ; but the pilots declared it to be impossible 
to work the ships against the wind and tide, and that the Armada 
must proceed into the North Sea, or it would be driven on the 
shoals. To quit the Channel now became absolutely necessary ; 
for almost all the Spanish ships, even those which could most be 
relied upon, were in a very bad condition; and partly from 
the effects of the late actions, partly from the want of shot, were 
in no state to resist the English. 

On the 30th the Lord High Admiral was still in pursuit of 
the flying Armada ; but perceiving the ships drifting toward the 
shoals of Zealand, he did not deem it necessary to press them ; 
but left the elements to complete the work of destruction. 

" At this time," says the Spanish narrative, " the pilots on board the flag- 
ship, who were best acquainted with the coast, declared to the Duke that it 
was impossible to save a single vessel of the whole Armada ; but that with 
the north-west wind, then blowing, the whole must inevitably go upon the 
shoals on the coast of Zealand ; and that God only could prevent it. In this 
hopeless situation, without any human means to escape, and when the Ar- 
mada was only in six fathoms and a half, it pleased God to change the wind 
to west-south-Avest, and the Armada was enabled to make way to the north- 
ward, without the loss of a ship. In this miserable situation, the Duke 
called a council of the Admirals and superior officers, and put to them the 
question, Whether it were most expedient to go back into the English 
Channel, or to return by the North Sea to Spain, since there were no advices 
from the Duke of Parma of his being able shortly to come out. All the 

chap, ix.] CALLED THE INVINCIBLE. 137 

members agreed that they ought to go back into the Channel, if the weather 
allowed them to do so ; but if not, that, then yielding to the weather, they 
should return by the North Sea to Spain ; considering that the Armada was 
in want of all the most necessary articles, and that those ships, which had 
hitherto withstood the enemy, were now disabled." 

On the 31st the Armada continued its course with the wind 
fresh from the south-west, and much sea; the English fleet 
following it. 

Sir Francis Drake to Lord Walsingham. 
Most Honorable, 31st July, 1588. 

I am comaunded to send these presoners ashore by my Lord Admerall, 
which had, ere this, byne long done, but that I thowght ther being here 
myght have done something, which is not thowght meet now. 

Lett me beseche your Honor that they may be presented unto her Ma- 
jestie, either by your honor, or my honorable good Lord, my Lord Chan- 
cellor, or both of you. The one, Don Pedro, is a man of great estymacyon 
with the King of Spayne, and thowght next in this armye to the Duke of 
Sedonya, If they shoulde be geven from me unto any other, it would be 
som gref to my friends. Yf her Majestie will have them, God defend but I 
shoulde thinck it happye. 

We have the armey of Spayne before us, and mynd with the Grace of God 
to wressell a poull with him. 

Ther was never any thing pleased me better than the seeing the enemey 
flying with a Sotherly wynd to the Northwards. God grant you have a 
good eye to the Duke of Parma, for with the Grace of God, yf we live, I 
dowbt it not, but ei'e it be long so to handell the matter with the Duke of 
Sedonya, as he shall wish hymselff at Saint Marie Port among his orynge 

God gyve us grace to depend upon him, so shall we not dowbt victory ; 
for our cawse is good. 

Humbly taking my leave, this last of July, 1588. 

Your Honor's faythfully 

to be commanded ever, 

Fra: Drake. 
To the Most Hon. 

Sir Fras. Walsingham, knight, &c. 
P.S. I crave pardon of your Honor for my haste, for that I had to watch 
this last nyght uppon the enemey. 

Your's ever, 

Fra: Drake.* 
To the Most Honorable 

Sir Fras. Walsingham. 
With speed. — 

MS., State Paper Office. 

138 THE SPANISH ARMADA, [chap. ix. 

The following is an extract from a letter addressed by Lord 
Henry Seymour to the Queen :— 

1st August, 1588. 

The 29th of the sayd month, being resolved, the day before, my Lord 
Admiral should gyve the first charge, Sir Francis Drake the next, and my- 
self the third, yt fell out, that the galliass distressed altered my Lord's former 
determination, as I suppose, by prosecuting the destruction of her, which was 
done within one ower after. 

In the meane time, Sir Francis Drake gave the first charge uppon the 
Spanish Admiral, being accompaned with the Triumph, the Victory, and 

Myself, with the Vanguard, the Antelop, and others, charged upon sayle 
being somewhat broken and distressed ; 3 of their great shipps, among which 
my ship shot one of them through 6 times, being within less than musket 
shot. After the long fight, which continued almost 6 owers, and ended, 
between 4 and 5, in the afternoon, until Tuesday, at 7 in the evening, we 
continued by them ; and your Ma ty '' fleet followed the Spaniards along the 
Channel, until we came athwart the Brill, where I was commanded by my 
Lord Admiral, with your Majesties fleete under my charge, to return back, 
for the defense of your Majestys coasts, if anything be attempted by the Duke 
of Parma ; and therein have obeyed his Lordship, much against my will, 
expecting your Majestys further pleasure.* 

" On the morning of the 2nd August," says the ' Spanish Narrative,' " the 
English fleet still followed the Armada, but then they turned towards the 
coast of England, and we lost sight of them, and we continued our course 
until we got through the Channel of the Sea of Norway ; not being possible 
to return to the English Channel, though it has been our desire to do so to 
the present day, the 20th August, on which day, having doubled the Islands 
of Scotland, we are steering for Spain with the wind east-north-east." 

And with this passage the Spanish Diary ends. 

The following letters are copied from the MSS. in the State 
^Paper Office. 

Lord C. Howard to Sir F. Walsingham. 
Sir, August 7th, 1588. 

In our laste feighte with the enemye, before Gravelinge, the 29th of 
Julie, we sonke three of their ships, and made some to go neare with the 
shore, soe leake, as they were not able to live at sea. After that feighte, 
notwithstanding that our powder and shot was wel neare all spente, we set on 
a brag countenance and gave them chase, as though we had wanted nothinge, 
untill we had cleared our owne coaste, and som parte of Scotland of them ; 
and then, as well to refreshe our ships with victuals whereof moste stoode in 
wonderful neede, as alsoe in respecte of our want of powder and shot, we 

MS. State Paper Office. 

chap, ix.] CALLED THE INVINCIBLE. 139 

made for the Frith, and sente certaine pinesses to dog the fleete untill they 
sholde be paste the Isles of Scotlande which I verelie beleave, they are loste 
at theire stearnes, or this. We are perswaded that they eather are paste 
aboute Irelande, and so dooe what they can to recover theire owne coaste, 
oneless that they are gon for some parte of Denmarke. I have herewith 
sent unto you a breife abstracte of such accidents as have happened, which 
hereafter at better leisure I will explaine by more particular relations. In 
the meane tyme I bid you hartelie farrewell. 

From aboarde the Ark, the 7th of Auguste, 1588. 

Your verie lovinge friende 

C. Howard. 
The Right Honorable 

Sir Fra. Walsingham, knight. 
Good Mr. Secretarie, lett not Her Majestie be too haste in desolvying her 
forses by sea and land : and I pray you send me with speed what advertyse- 
ments you have of Dunkerk, for I long to dow some exployt on their shipp- 
inge. If the Dukes forses be retyred into the land I dowt not but to dow 
good. — I must thank your favourable yousing of my brother Hoby. He 
telleth me how forwarde you weer to forder all thyngs for our wants. I 
wold some weer of your mynde : If we had had that wych had been soe, 
England and her Majestie had had the gretest honor that ever any nasion 
had : but God be thanked it is well. 

Sir Francis Drake to the Queen. 

8th August, 1588. 
The absence of my Lord Admirall, most gratious Soveraigne, hath 
emboldened me to putt my penne to the paper. On Fridaye last, uppon good 
consideracion, we lefte the army of Spaigne so farre to the northewarde, as 
they could neither recover England nr Scotlande ; and within three daies 
after we were entertayned with a greate storme, considering the tyme of the 
yere ; the which storme, in manye of our judgements, hath not a litle an- 
noyed the enemie's armye. 

If the wind hinder it not, I thinck they are forced to Denmark ; and that 
for divers causes ; certaine it is that manie of theire people were sicke, and 
not a fewe killed; ther shippes, sailes, ropes, and wasts, needeth greate 
reperations, for that they had all felte of your Majesties force. 

If your Majestie thoughte it meete, it were [ ] amisse you 

sent presentlie to Denmark to understand the trutb, and to deall with their 
king according to your Majesties great wisdome. 

I have not written this whereby your Majestie should deminish any of 
your forces. Your Highnes' enemies are manie ; yeat God hath, and will 
heare your Majestie's praier, putting your hand to the plough, for the 
defence of his truth, as youre Majestie hath begunne, God for his Christ's 
sak, blesse your sacred Majestie, now and ever. 

Written aboard your Majestie's verie good shipp the Reveng, this 8th 
August, 1588. 

Your Majestie's faithfullest vassall, 

Fra. Drake. 

140 THE SPANISH ARMADA, [chap. ix. 

Sir Francis Drake to Sir Francis Walsinghaim. 

Most Honorable, 10th August, 1588. 

The armye of Spaigne I thincke certainlye to be put either into Nor- 
waye or Denmarke ; ther are dyvers causes which moveth me so to thincke. 
The firste we understood by dyvers prisoners which we have taken, that 
jenerallye throwgh all ther hoole fleet ther was no on shipp free of sycke 
people. Secoundlie, their shipps, masts, sayles, and ropes were verye much 
decayed and spoyled by our greate shot. Thyrdlye, at Callys, by fryer we 
forced them to cut manye of their cables, wherby they lost manye of their 
anchors, which of necessytye they muste seke to supplye. Further, yf they 
had had none of these former great causes of distrese, yet the wynds and 
storme with the wynde westerlye as yt was, hath forced them theither ; and 
I asure myselfe that whensoever her Majestie shall here of their aryvall in 
anye of these coastes, that her Heighnes shall be advertised bothe of their 
greate distrese and of no smalle losse amongst them : for I asure your honor 
her Majestie's good shipps felt muche of that storme, and loste manye of their 
boats and pynaces, with some anchors and caibles ; yet were we fayer by our 
own shoare, and the wynde ryght of the land ; some amongst us wyll not 
lett to saye that they are in Scotland. I cannot thincke so, for that we had 
no wynd wherby they were able to recover anye parte of the mayne lande of 
Scotland, without yt were some of the out isles, which are no meet places to 
releve their so manye greate wants. Norwaye, or the out isles of Scotlande, 
can releve them but with water and a ffew cowes, or bad beof, and some 
smalle quantitie of goats and henes, which ys to them as nothinge ; and yet 
these bade relefes are to be had but in few places, and their roads daungerous. 
The onely thinge which ys to be lookt for ys, that if they should goe to the 
Kinge of Denmarke, and there have hys frendshipp and healpe for all their 
releifes, non can better helpe their wants in all these partes then he, for that 
he ys a Prynce of greate shippinge, and cane best supplye hys wants, which 
nowe the Duke of Medyna the Sedonya standeth in nede of, as great anchors, 
caibles, mastes, roopes, and vitualles, and what the Kinge of Spaigne's whole 
crownes will doe, in cold counteryes, for maryners and men, I leave to your 
good Lordship, which can best judge thereof. We lefte a pynace of her 
Majesties, the Advise, and a fyne carvell of my owen to attende the fleet of 
Spaigne when we lefte them; but what ys become of them, that great 
storme, or whether they maye be stayed in anye other countery, as they maye, 
I knowe not. My power oppynion ys, that yt were moste meet to sende a 
good shipp, and some fyne barke, with some verie sufficient personne to dele 
effectualy from her Majestie with the Kinge of Denmarke, as he shall fynde 
the cause to requyer ; and to send the trew report backe with all speede pos- 
syble, that they maye be the beter prevented : for no doubt, but that which 
they are able to dooe they wyll presentlye put yt in execusyon, the wynter 
wyll overtake them else in those partes. Yf they staye in the sounde thys 
wynter I hope manye of the Spanyards wyll seke Spaigr^ by lande. The 
Prynce of Parma, I take him to be as a beare robbed of her whealpes ; and, 
no doubte, but beinge so great a soldiour as he ys, that he will presentlye, if 

chap, ix.] CALLED THE INVINCIBLE. 141 

he maye, undertake some great matter, for hys reste wyll stande now there- 

Yt ys for certayne that the Duke of Sedonia standeth somewhat jelious of 
hym, and the Spanyards begynne to hate hym, their honour being towcht so 
nere, manye of their lyves spent. I asure your Honor not so lyttle as fyve 
thowsande men lesse then when first we sawe them nere Plymoth, dyvers of 
their shipps soncke and taken, and they have nothinge to saye for them- 
selves in excuse but that they came to the place apoynted which was at 
Callys, and there stayed the Duke of Parma's commynge above 24 howers, 
yea, and untyll they were fyred thence. So this ys my power conclusyon, 
if we maye recover near Dunkerke this nyght or to morrowe mornynge, so 
as their power may see us retorned from the chase, and readye to encounter 
them yf they once sallye, that the next newes you shall here will be the one 
to mutenye againste the other; which, when yt shall come to passe, or 
whether they mutenye or no, let us all, with one consent, bothe hygh and 
looe, magnyfye and prayse our - most gratious and mercyful God for hys 
infynyt and unspeackable goodnes towards us : which I protest to your good 
Lordship that my belefe ys that our most gratious Soveraigne, her power sub- 
jects, and the Church of God, hath opened the heavens in dyvers places, and 
perced the eares of our most mercyfull Father ; unto whome, in Christe 
Jesus, be all honor and glorye, — so be yt. Amen, Amen. 

Wrytten with much haste, for that we are readye to sett sayle to prevent 
the Duke of Parma, this southerlye wynde, yf yt please God, for trewlye my 
power oppynion ys that we should have a greate eye unto hym. 

From her Majestie's verye good Shipp the Revenge, the 10th of Auguste, 

Your Honor's faythfully to be 

Commanded always, 

Fra. Drake. 
To the Eight Honorable 

Sir Francis Walsingham, knight. 

P.S. For that we wer very neere to sett saile, I most humbly beseech 
your Honor to pardon my pen, for that I am forced to writ the very copy of 
that letter which I have sent to my Lord Chanceller. Sence the writteng 
hereof I have spoken with an Ynglishman, which cam from Dunckerck yes- 
terday, who sayeth, uppon his lyfe ther is no feare of the flett ; yeat would I 
willinglye see it. 

Your Honour's ever, 

Fra. Drake. 
Sir Francis Drake to Sir F. Walsingham. 

Most Honorable, 11th August, 1588. 

The soden sending for of my very good Lord, my Lord Admeral, hath 
cawsed me to screbell these fewe lynes, fyrst, most humbly beseching your 
honor to delyver this letter unto her Majestie as a testyfycatyon of my Lord 
Admerall's most honorable usage of me in this accyon, wher it hath pleased 
his good Lordship to except of that which I have somtymes spoken, and 

142 THE SPANISH ARMADA, [chap. ix. 

commended that lettell sends which I was abell, much better then ether of 
them bothe I was abell to deserve, — wherein yf I have not performed as 
much as was lowked for, yeat I perswade my self his good Lordship will 
confesse I have byne dutiffull. Towching any other cawsses that ether 
hath byne done, or is to be done, lett me pray pardon of your honor, for I 
assure your Honor that my Lord Admerall hath so suffycyently instructed 
hymself dayly, as I faythfully beleve his good Lordship will throwghly 
satisfye her Majestie and your Honor what is now best to be done ; thus 
humbly takyng my leave, I besech God to bless the work of her Majestie's 
hands allways. Written abourd her Majestie's good ship the Reveng, at 
mydnyght, this 11th August, 1588. 

Your Honor's faythfully 

to be comanded, 

Fba. Drake. 
To the Right Honorable 
Sir Francis Walsingham, knight. 





Summary of the Spanish losses — Libels of the late Spanish Ambassador on 
the British Officers — Drake's reply — Public thanksgiving — Queen's pro- 
cession to St Paul's— Letters of the Lord High Admiral and Sir Francis 
Drake, relative to the late invasion — The fleet is paid off. 

The disasters which befel the Armada in its passage along the 
western coast of Ireland were most deplorable. The loss of 
officers and men by shipwreck and sickness exceeded that which 
they had previously experienced in the English Channel and 
the North Sea. By one account, made out with great care, it 
would appear that in the British Channel and the North Sea 
fifteen ships were lost, and on the west coast of Ireland seventeen 
others ; and that the loss of life on board these thirty-two vessels 
must have exceeded ten thousand souls, exclusive of those who 
were slain in fight, or died of sickness and famine. But if the 
statement be correct that the utmost number of ships which 
reached the Spanish ports did not exceed sixty, the loss must 
have been much greater. Hakluyt says — 

" Of one hundred and four and thirty sail, that came out of Lisbon, only 
three and fifty returned to Spain. Of the four galiasses of Naples, but one ; 
the like of the four largest galleons of Portugal ; of the one and ninety 
galleons and great hulks, from divers provinces, only three and thirty re- 
turned. In a word, they lost eighty-one ships in this expedition, and up- 
wards of thirteen thousand five hundred soldiers." 

It may easily be conceived how severe the shock must have 
been to Philip, when he received the intelligence of the defeat 
and destruction of his Invincible Armada. He is said, however, to 
have borne his disappointment well, and to have returned thanks 
to God that it was no worse. He could not, however, overlook 

144 THE SPANISH ARMADA, [chap. x. 

the conduct of those whose disobedience to his orders had in 
some degree led to the ill-success of the enterprise. Against 
the Duke of Medina Sidonia, in particular, his anger was so 
much excited, that he gave orders he should never again appear 
at court : but the duchess, who was extremely beautiful, and a 
great favourite with the king, prevailed on his Majesty to 
rescind the order, and again to receive him into favour. But 
Don Diego de Valdez, who was considered to have been the 
person who misled the Duke, was sentenced to be imprisoned in 
the castle of Saint Andrea, and was never seen or heard of after- 
wards. Don Pedro de Valdez remained a prisoner in England 
between two and three years ; and was only released on a ransom 
of about 3000/. 

The conclave of the Vatican did not bear their disappointment 
so well as the king had done ! His Holiness the Pope, the car- 
dinals, priests, monks, and Jesuits, were exasperated beyond 
bounds, not only at the defeat of the Armada, which they had 
pronounced Invincible, but because the falsification of all their 
prophecies against England would bring them into discredit 
throughout Europe. The defeat of the Armada was known in 
Paris immediately after the dispersion of the fleet by the fire- 
ships off" Calais ; yet after it was so known, Mendoza, the late 
ambassador to London, kept his printing-press at work to dis- 
seminate lies against the Queen, the Lord High Admiral, and 
Sir Francis Drake. 

" But however coolly," says Stow, " Philip might take the disastrous 
account of his Armada, his ambassador in France, Don Bernardin Mendoza, 
and his tool, one Capella, were industrious enough to spread false reports in 
print, claiming a victory for Spain. So blindly did his impudence and in- 
dignation carry him, that he dispersed his lies in French, Italian, and 
Spanish, pretending he had received advices from London, that the Queen's 
High Admiral had been taken by the Spanish Admiral, and that he saved 
himself in a boat, and that Drake was either taken or slain ; that the 
Catholics, perceiving her navy to be spoiled, had made a mutiny, which in- 
duced the Queen to take the field in person, and that it is affirmed, as true, 
that no ship nor boat of the Spaniards had been carried into England, except 
the ship of Don Pedro de Valdez." 

Strype says that one of Mendoza's own friends pointed out to 
him the baseness of his conduct in the following terms : — 


" I marvel, good Sir, to see a man of so noble a lineage, and no less endued 
-with gifts of nature than others, should have your ears so opened to hear the 
rumours and lies which the scoffing and gibing flatterers do write you ; and 
I wonder not so much in that you credit them, as at the speed wherewith 
your honour doth write them. Your honour writeth to Spain that it is a 
matter most true that the Lord High Admiral was come, running away with 
twenty-five or twenty-six ships, unto London, and that he had lost his flag- 
ship ; and that Drake was taken prisoner ; and that this was written for a 
matter most certain by persons of credit from London." 

This fabulous gazette of Don Bernardin was translated into 
English, and published under the title of ' A pack of Spanish 
Lies, sent abroad into the world, translated out of the original, 
and now ripp'd up, unfolded, and, by just examination, con- 
demned, as containing false, corrupt, and detestable wares, 
worthy to be damn'd and burnt.' 

Though Drake very rarely gave himself the trouble to answer 
personal abuse, yet, on the present occasion, he published an 
admirable and spirited letter, which proves that he was no less 
able to vanquish a libeller with his pen than an enemy with his 

" They were not ashamed," he says, " to publish in sundry languages in 
print, great victories in words, which they pretended to have obtained 
against this realm, and spread the same in a most false sort over all parts of 
France, Italy, and elsewhere ; when, shortly after, it was happily manifested 
in very deed to all nations, how their navy, which they termed invincible, 
consisting of one hundred and forty sail of ships, not only of their own 
kingdom, but strengthened with the greatest Argosies, Portugal carracks, 
Florentines, and large hulks of other countries, were, by thirty of Her 
Majesty's own ships of war, and a few of our merchants, by the wise, 
valiant, and advantageous conduct of the Lord Charles Howard, High 
Admiral of England, beaten and shuffled together even from the Lizard in 
Cornwall, first to Portland, where they shamefully left Don Pedro de 
Valdez, with his mighty ship: from Portland to Calais, where they lost 
Hugh de Moncado, with the galleys of which he was captain ; and from 
Calais, driven with squibs from their anchors, were chased out of the sight 
of England round about Scotland and Ireland ; where, for the sympathy of 
their religion, hoping to find succour and assistance, a great part of them 
were crushed against the rocks, and those other that landed, being very 
many in number, were, notwithstanding, broken, slain, and taken ; and so 
sent from village to village, coupled in halters to be shipped into England, 
where Her Majesty, of her princely and invincible disposition disdaining to 
put them to death, and scorning either to retain, or entertain them, they were 
all sent back again to their countries to witness and recount the worthy 


146 THE SPANISH ARMADA, [chap. x. 

achievement of their invincible and dreadful navy. Of which the number 
of soldiers, the fearful burthen of their ships, the commanders' names of 
every squadron, with all other, their magazines of provisions, were put in 
print, as an army and navy irresistible and disdaining prevention ; with all 
which their great terrible ostentation they did not, in all their sailing round 
about England, so much as sink or take one ship, bark, pinnace, or cockboat 
of ours, or even burn so much as one sheepcote on this land." 

It is said that the Spanish noblemen and the officers of the 
Armada had made a specific division among themselves of all 
the noblemen's estates in England ; and had in fact apportioned 
out the kingdom among themselves : the houses of the rich mer- 
chants in London, which were to be given as plunder to the 
soldiers and sailors, were also systematically registered. The 
extent to which this vain anticipation was carried, appears to us 
the less incredible when we remember that, in our own days, a 
foe as inveterate as Philip, with means more formidable, and 
hatred more intense, and also of far greater talents, encouraged 
his myrmidons to the invasion of our shores, by the same auda- 
cious partition of our lands and property. 

While among the Spaniards the loss was so great that there 
was scarcely a family of any distinction throughout the kingdom 
which was not in mourning, England everywhere resounded with 
acclamations of joy ; in which all the Protestant nations of 
Europe participated ; whilst poets and painters employed their 
talents to celebrate the joyful issue of the contest. 

Nor was the Queen backward in acknowledging, in the most 
public and solemn manner, her gratitude to Almighty God for 
the signal victory his providence had granted her. 

" At a council held at Greenwich the third of November, 1588, at which 
all the great officers of state were present, a letter to the Archbishop of 
Canterbury, lettinge his lordship to understande that Her Majestie's expresse 
pleasure and comandment was, that order should be given by his Lordship 
in all the dioceses under his Lordship's province, to the severall bishoppes, 
curates, and mynisters, to appoint some special! daye wherein all the realme 
might concur in givinge publique and generall thanckes unto God with all 
devocion and inward affection of hearte and humblenesse, for his gratyous 
favor extended towardes us in our deliverance and defence, in the wonderfull 
overthrow and destruction showed by his mightie hand on our malytious 
enemyes the Spanyardes, whoe had thought to invade and make a conquest of 
the realme. 

" The lyke letter wrytten unto the deane and chapter of the byshoprick of 


Yorke to take the same order within the Dyocese of that B : as was in all 
points specyfied in the former letter." * 

The Queen also directed a public and solemn thanksgiving to 
be made at the metropolitan church of St. Paul : on which occa- 
sion all the trophies taken from the enemy were carried in pro- 
cession, and deposited in the church ; and she then distributed 
rewards to the Lord High Admiral and the officers and seamen 
of the fleet. 

Several medals were struck in England in memory of the 
defeat of the Armada. One in particular was specially in ho- 
nour of the Queen. It represented ships in flames proceeding 
towards a fleet which was making off in great hurry and confu- 
sion ; its inscription, Dux fcemina facti, alluded to the circum- 
stance, generally believed at the time, that it was Elizabeth 
herself who, on hearing that the Armada had anchored before 
Calais, threw out the hint to Lord Charles Howard of the expe- 
diency of sending some fire-ships among them. There is no 
direct evidence of this : but in a letter alluding to the success of 
the measure, the Lord Admiral says, " the bearer came in good 
time on board this ship, and brings with him as good knowledge 
as we could wish." Another medal, representing a flying fleet, 
had this inscription, " Venit, vidit, fugit." The Zealanders had 
several medals struck : one, on which was the Spanish fleet scat- 
tered in great confusion, bore the motto, " Impius fugit, nemine 

Although the secession of the Duke of Parma from the enter- 
prise, and the destitute state of the Spanish fleet, might have 
removed all apprehension of a renewal of hostilities from any 
quarter, yet it appears from the letters of the Lord High Ad- 
miral and Sir Francis Drake, that they deemed it very expedient 
to keep their fleet together. 

Lord Effingham to the Queen. 
My Most Grasious Soferen, 22 Aug. 1588. 

The graet goodnes of your Majestie towards me, that hathe so lyttell 
desarved, dowthe make me in case that I know not how to wryght to your 
Majestie how muche I am bound to you for your infynyte goodneses, nor 
chann be ancered by any wayse but with the spend of my blud and lyfe in 

* Council Register, H. M. Council Office. 


148 THE SPANISH AKMADA, [chap. x. 

your Majestie's sarvis, wyehe I wyll be as redy and as wyllyng to dow as 
ever cretur that lyved was for ther prynce. 

My most grasious Ladie, with graet gryfe I must wryght unto you in what 
state I fynd your flyte in heer. The infecsion is growne verry graet, and in 
many shypse, and now verry dangerous ; and those that comme in freshe are 
sonest infected : they sicken the on day and dy the next : it is a thynge that 
ever folloethe such graet sarvyses, and I dowt not but with good care and 
Godse goodnes, wyche dowthe alwayse bles your Majestie and yourse, it 
wyll quenche agayne. The course that we heer thynk meet to be kepte, 
bothe for the sarvis as also for the safte of your Majestie's pepell, we have 
wryghten at large unto my lords of your Majestie's Pryvy Councell, to 
informe your Majestie, and have also sent this berrer, Mr. Tho. Fenor, who 
is both wyse and chann informe your Majestie how all things standethe heer. 
And because it requyerethe sped and resolusion of your Majestie, I dow leve 
to trowble your Majestie any farder. Preyinge to the Almyghtie God to 
make your Majestie to lyve mor hapyer dayse then ever cretur that lyved on 
the erthe. From Dover, the 22 of August. 

Your Majestie's most bound, most 

faythfull and obedient sarvant, 

C. Howard. 
Evne as I had wryghten thus muche, Mr. E. Noreys chame, woose adver- 
tisement dowth altter the case muche. 
To the Queen's most 
Excelent Majestie. 

Lord Effingham and Sir Francis Drake to Sir Francis Walsingham. 

Sir, 2 7th August, 1588. 

Apone your letter I sent presentlie for Sir F. Drake, and showed him 
the desier that heer Majestie had for the interceptyng of the king's tresur 
from the Indias, and so we considered of it, and nether of us fyndyng any 
shypse heer in the flyte any wayse able to goo such a voyage, befor they have 
byne aground, wych chanot be downe in any plase but at Chatham; and 
now that this spryng is so far past, it wyll be fourteen dayse befor they 
chan be grounded. And wher you wryght that I shuld make nobody 
aquaynted with it but Sir F. Drake, it is verry strange to me that anny body 
chan thynk that yf it wer that if the smalest barks weer to be sent out, but 
that the oflysers must know it ; for this is not as if a man wold send but over 
to the cost of France. I dare asure you Sir F. Drake, who is a man of 
jugment and aquaynted with it, wyll tell you what must be downe for such 
a journey. Belike it is thowght the ilands be but heer by ; it is not thought 
how the yeer is spent. I thowght it good, therfore, to send with all sped Sir 
F. D., althowghe he be not very well, to inform you ryghtly of all, and look 
what shall be then thouwght meet. I wyll dow my indevor with all the 
powr I maye, for I protest before God I would gyve all that I have that it 
weer met withall, for that bio, after this he hath, wold mak him safe. Sir, 
for Sir Thos. Morgayne and the dischargyng of shypse I will deell with all 


when the spryng* is past, but befor I dare not venture ; for them of London 
I dow not heer of them it (yet) but those that be with my cosyne Knivet. 
Sir, I send you heer inclosed a note of the money that Sir F. Drake had 
abourd Don Pedro. I did take now at my comynge downe 3000 pystolets, 
as I told you I wold, for by Jesus I had not three pounds lefte in the 
worlde, and had nor anythinge coulde geet mony in London. And I dow 
assur you my plat has gone befor, but I wyll repay it within ten days after 
my comyng home. I pray you let her Majestie know so ; and by the Lord 
God of hevne I had not one crown mor, and had it not byne meer nesesite 
I wold not have touched one ; but if I had not sum to have bestoed apon 
sum pour and myserable men I should have wyshed myselfe out of the 
worlde. Sir, let me not lyve longer then I shall be most wylling to dow all 
sarvys, and to take any paynse I chan for her Majestie's sarvis. I thynk 
Sir F. Drake wyll say I have lyttell rest, day or nyght. The Ark, in Dover 
Road, the 27 of August (1588). 

Your most assured, 

C. HoWARD.f 

To my verie lovinge freinde, 
Mr. Secretarie Walsinghame, 
at the Courte. 

In the course of the month of September the Queen's ships 
were paid off; and those of the merchant adventurers returned to 
their usual occupation. 

It is stated in Lediard's ' Naval History of England ' that ten 
sail of the Armada were cast away on the coast of Ireland, 
among which were one of the great galeasses and two Venetian 
ships, the Batta and Belangara ; that those of their crews who 
escaped shipwreck and reached the shore were all put to the 
sword, or perished by the hand of the executioner, the Lord 
Deputy fearing they should join with the rebels. The following 
letter in the State Paper Office is almost conclusive evidence 
that this was not the case : — 

To the Lord Deputy of Ireland. 
Our very good Lord, 14th Sept. 1588. 

Imedatly after the writing of or last letters to yo r Lp. we went wheare 
we hard the Spanyarde were, and mett them at S r John O'Dogherty is towne 
called Illagh. We sent unto them to know who they were, and what their 
intent was, or why they did invade any pte. of the Queene's Ma ts . domynion, 
their aunswer was that they did sett foorth to invade England, and were 
pcell of the fleete w ch was overthrowen by her Ma ts navy, and that they 

* i. e. Spring- tides. 
f These letters are copied from MSS. in the State Paper Office. 

150 THE SPANISH ARMADA. [chap. x. 

were dry ven tether by force of wether. Whereupon we (pceiving that they 
were in nombre above vjc men) did incamp that night w th in muskett shott of 
them, being in nombre not passing vij xx men [here in the hand-writing of 
Lord Burleigh is this note: 'A bold attempt of 140 against 600'] ; and the 
same nyght about midnyght did skirmish w th them for the space ii houres, 
and in that skyrmish did slay their lieutenant of the fealde and above xx'? 
more beside the hurting of a great nomber of their men : so as in the next 
day (in skyrmishing w th them) they were forced to yeld themselves, and we 
lost but one soldior : nowe O'Donill and wee are come w th some of them to 
Dongainne, meaning to go w th them w Ul out companies to yo r Lp. And 
therefore we humbly besech yo r honour to graunte warr 1 for victling of them, 
as the prysone rs are very weake, and unable to travaile, we desire yo r Lp. 
(yf yo u shall so thinke meete) to gyve direcon for leveyings of horses and 
garrans to cary them to Dublin. The best of them seemeth to cary some 
kinde of maiesty, and hath ben governor of thirty thousand men this xxiiij 
years past ; the rest of the prysoners are men of greate calling, and such as 
in o r oppynion were not amysse to be questioned w th all. So we humbly take 1 
our leave. From Dongainne, the xiiij of September, 1588. 

Your most humble, 

Rich. Hovenden, 
Henry Hovenden.* 

The Lord Deputy 
of Ireland. 


* MS., State Paper Office. 





Reasons for attacking Spain — Petition of Don Antonio, a candidate for the 
Crown of Portugal — Sir F. Drake and Sir J. Norris appointed to com- 
mand the Expedition — Letters of Sir J. Norris and Sir F. Drake to Lord 
Burleigh — Attack on Corunna — Gallant conduct of a Female — Description 
of the attack by Norris and by Drake— Essex joins them— Arrival at 
Peniche — Norris marches for Lisbon — Drake sails for Cascais — Pro- 
ceedings before Lisbon— Proceedings at Cascais— Embark at Cascais — 
The Fleet is dispersed in a Storm — Arrive at Plymouth — Case of Lord 

Elizabeth was soon convinced that, in the present temper of 
the Roman Catholics of Spain, no peace on honourable terms 
could be entered into with Philip ; and that the honour and 
safety of the nation required the most vigorous measures to be 
pursued, without waiting for the visit of a second Armada. 
Spain not only still held out threats, but preparations were un- 
derstood to be actually making in her western ports for the 
attempt ; it was therefore deemed the wisest policy to show them 
that England was as able to attack as to defend. 

" When," says Camden, " the Queen had shown this example of terror 
(the trial and condemnation of the Earl of Arundel) at home, to make herself 
equally feared abroad, and pursue the victory which Providence had given 
her over the Spaniards, conceiving it to be both more safe and honourable 
to attack the enemy than to stand an assault from them, she suffered a 
fleet to put to sea upon an expedition against Spain. This Sir John Norris 
and Sir Francis Drake did generously and frankly undertake, at their own 
and some other private men's charge, and with very little expense to the 
Queen's purse, except the fitting out of a few men of war ; for, indeed, they, 
were fully convinced that the power of Spain lay rather in common fancy 
and opinion, than in any real strength they were masters of. The agreement 
between them was this — that whatever prizes they took should be shared 
among them by a fair and equal dividend. But it happened that there came 
not in so many to this expedition as was expected. 

152 EXPEDITION TO THE [chap. xi. 

" The States added some ships, although they were at present displeased 
with the English, because Wingfield, governor of Gertruydenburgh, and the 
English garrison of that place, had betrayed the town to the Spaniard. The 
present fleet was reckoned to consist of 11,000 soldiers and 1500 sailors. 
Don Antonio, the bastard prior of Crato (a natural son of the royal family of 
Portugal), with a few Portuguese, joined them ; for he, it seems, laying claim 
to the Crown of Portugal by a popular election (for by the laws of that king- 
dom bastards are not excluded), had made the English mighty promises, 
hoping, we may suppose, to recover the kingdom by the help of these forces, 
the revolt of the Portuguese from the Spaniard, and the assistance of Muley 
Hamet, King of Morocco." 

Drake, always ready in his country's cause, as soon as he 
received the Queen's commands to prepare an expedition, in con- 
junction with General Sir John Norris, lost no time in taking 
the necessary steps for fitting out the ships to be employed. The 
Queen furnished the following ships : — 


Naval Commanders. 

Military Commanders. 1 

The Revenge 

Sir Francis Drake 

Sir John Norris. 


Capt. Thos. Fenner 

Sir Edward Norris. 


Capt. Wm. Fenner 

Sir Henry Norris. 


Capt Sackville 

Sir Roger Williams. 


Capt. Wm. Winter 

Capt. Williams. 


Capt. Goring. 

The fleet of merchant-adventurers, and of transports for the 
conveyance of the soldiers, amounted to eighty, or, according 
to some accounts, to one hundred and forty sail. 

No two commanders could have been chosen better qualified 
to conduct this expedition. Sir John Norris was a highly dis- 
tinguished soldier, had seen much service on the continent and 
in Ireland, and held a chief command during the period that 
country was threatened by the Spaniards ; he had also served 
under Coligny in the religious wars of France. Many of the 
other officers were distinguished men. But these expeditions, 
mixed up of war and traffic, so common in those days, how well 
soever conducted, were rarely successful : nor was the present 
one any exception to the rule. It was detained, wind-bound, a 
whole month at Plymouth. Of its promised forces, six hundred 
English horses, seven old companies from the Low Countries, 
and four Dutch companies never joined it ; and it was put to 
great expense by the consumption of provisions whilst at Ply- 
mouth. These were serious losses to the generals and the 

chap, xi.] GROYNE (CORUNNA), AND LISBON. 153 

merchant adventurers ; and many complaints were received by 
the commanders. Both the Generals earnestly called on Lord 
Burleigh for a supply of money and provisions. Drake's letter 
was as follows : — 

Sir Francis Drake to the Lord High Treasurer. 

April, 1589. 
Rigute Honourable and my verie good Lorde, 

I did never write to your Lordship with so discontentede a minde as I 
doe now. The cause is (as it maie please your Lordship) in that it, pleaseth 
God to staie our forces in harborough by contrarie windes ; whereby our 
victualls have beene and doe dailie consume without doeinge anie service : 
which (if God favor us not with a tymelie winde) must needes be the onlie 
meanes that the accion will be dissolvede : We have used our best meanes as 
longe as we coulde to upuholde the service, as farre as our owne abilities, and 
the creditte of our freends could anie waie be stretchede to serve our turnes : 
butt for that the nombers of our men are so manie, and our dailie charge so 
greate by reason of our staie, we are no further able to continewe the same 
as we have donne. If this action beinge broughte to that perfection (as we 
are readie to take the first goode winde that shall blowe) should nowe be 
dissolved by reason of anie particular wantes, the dishonour therein must 
needes be graate to her Majestie : The losse not a litle to us, and suche as are 
adventurers, and the clamour of the nombers which must be dischargede 
most iutollerable : who must needes and will be satisfiede of their paie for 
the tyme of their service, at her Majesties hands, or ours ; and ourselves no 
waie able to accomplishe it : Wherefore I have thought it my duetie to ac- 
quaint your Lordship herewith, for the consideracion of the greatnes of the 
cause : humblie beseechinge your Lordship to move to her Majestie herewith : 
that present order maie be sente the Leivetenants and Justices of the peace of 
the Sheires next adioyning, or to Mr. Darell : whome your Lordship maie 
depute as Commissioners in that behalf That by the countrie adioyning, 
our presente necessitie maie be suppliede : where we might have sufficiente 
enoughe, if we had present monies to make satisfaccion accordinglie. Thus 
I humblie take my leave of your Lordship. 

From Plymouthe, this (not dated) of Aprill, 1589. 

Your Lordship's allwaies readie 

to be commaundede 
(signed) Fra: Drake.* 

To the Ryght Honorable 

my verie good Lorde 

the Lord hiegh Treasorer 
of England. 

In the next letter Sir Francis Drake alludes to the intention 
* MS. State Paper Office. 

154 EXPEDITION TO THE [chap. xi. 

of the Earl of Essex to join the fleet as a volunteer. The 
Queen had given orders to the commanders of the expedition to 
find him out (for no one knew where he was), and to send him 
to Court. 

Sir F. Drake to the Lord High Chancellor. 

19 April, 1589. 
Most Honourable and my especiall good Lord, 

For that we now understand that her Majestie is pleased to releve us 
with som virtual! , I thincke yf it shall so please your Lordship that Captayne 
Crosse will be a very meett man to be sent after us with the sam vittuall, for 
that we have aqwaynted hym throwghly with the particulars of the statt of 
our armey, and cann judge well wher to fynd us uppon the cost of Spayne 
uppon sucn advertisments as I have geven hym. This cawse of the Erll of 
Essexe hath been and is very great truble unto us, for that we hyere conty- 
newally that his Lordships abyding is uncertayne in any one partyculler 
place. We have sent bothe by sea and land and dow dayly exspecte to hyer 
from his Lordship. 

Yf his Lordship be not gonn for the cost of France, we shall meett with 
hym very shortly, for that we have great hope of this fayer wether, when we 
shall dow our best endeavoures for the satisfyeing of her Majesties expresse 
commaundement in sending his Lordship to the court. 

God geve us a good wynd as we hope well ; that ther may be some pleas- 
inger matter to writ unto your good Lordship. Humbly takyng my leave 
this 19th of Aprell, 1589, from abourd her Majesties ship the Reveng. 
Your good Lordships humbly 

at commandment 
(signed) Fra: Drake.* 

At length the expedition put to sea ; but the wind for two days 
continued cross, and many of the ships, as might be expected in 
such a heterogeneous mass, were dispersed, and never again 
joined ; several of these were transports, which were either not 
able, or not willing, to double Ushant. The number of men 
missing is said to have been nearly 3000, some having got into 
France, and some to England. The weather, however, soon 
moderated, and five days brought them into the bay of Corunna 
(corrupted into Groyne), where the ships anchored about a mile 
below the town. 

The best and fullest account of this expedition was published 
in the year 1589, and bears this title: 'A true Coppie of a 
Discourse, written by a gentleman, employed in the late Voyage 

* MS. State Paper Office. 

chap, xi.] GROYNE (CORUNNA), AND LISBON. 155 

of Spain and Portingale.' It says that some of the galleons 
fired upon them and the companies as they passed to and fro the 
first night. The next day they attacked the lower town on three 
sides, and carried it without much resistance, and found an im- 
mense quantity of wine and oil. They took the governor Don 
Juan de Luna prisoner, with some other persons of note, and 
destroyed a large quantity of ammunition and stores which had 
been sent thither for the new expedition intended against Eng- 
land. About five hundred Spaniards are said to have been killed 
" in the heat of the plunder ;" and several of the English lost 
their lives, not by the enemy, but by their indulgence in the 
wine-cellars, by which great sickness was caused among the 
troops. The quantity of wine consumed, carried away, and de- 
stroyed, is said to have amounted to about 2000 pipes, collected 
for the use of the next Spanish expedition. 

The Spaniards themselves set fire to a very large ship which lay 
in the harbour, and which burnt for two days together. They did 
this to prevent her from falling into the hands of the invaders, 
and the Spaniards loaded her guns to such a degree that four-and- 
thirty of them burst. This was the galleon San Juan, one of 
the few which had escaped the general wreck of the Armada. 

Preparations were now made for besieging the upper town. 
Near one of the gates was a convent dedicated to St. Domingo ; the 
general ordered it to be occupied ; and from the upper part of the 
building they fired into the town. On the following night it was 
intended to get possession of a long munition-house built upon 
the wall ; but the Spaniards, suspecting the intention, set fire to 
it themselves. In the mean time a large fire broke out in the 
lower part of the town, which had it not been speedily got under 
by the General's precaution of pulling down the adjacent houses, 
all the provision stores would have been consumed, to the great 
inconvenience of the English. By this time General Norris had 
taken a survey of the walls, which he found to be in most places 
based upon rock ; one particular point, however, admitted the 
working of a mine. After three days' labour it was deemed 
ready for springing; but it failed. Two days after a second 
mine was sprung ; the explosion brought down half the tower 
under which it had been made. The breach was pronounced 
practicable, and immediately assaulted: but when the men 

156 EXPEDITION TO THE [chap. xi. 

gained the summit, the other half of the tower fell, and crushed 
the chief engineer ; and Captains Sydenham and Kersey were 
killed, together with a great many inferior officers and men. 

Captain Sydenham was found with three or four large stones 
upon his lower extremities, so wedged in that neither he himself 
could stir, nor were the company about him able to release him, 
notwithstanding the next day he was still alive. Around him 
were the bodies of eight or ten men, who had been shot by the 
Spaniards while endeavouring to extricate their officer. 

The General having planted his ordnance, summoned the 
town in the usual form by a drum ; the drummer was shot at ; 
but the Spaniards immediately hung the man who had fired at 
him ; saying they only wanted fair war, and would promise on 
their part to observe it. 

A breach having been made in the convent garden wall, some 
officers and men entered it, pike in hand, but were opposed at 
the summit by the Spaniards, who had prepared all means of 
defence ; and were encouraged, as Mr. Southey says, on the au- 
thority of Gondara, by the masculine exertions of Maria Pita, 
the wife of an alferez, or ensign, who, 

" With a spirit which women have more often displayed in Spam than in 
any other country, snatched up sword and buckler, and took her stand among 
the foremost of the defendants ; and so much was ascribed by the people to 
the effect of her example, that she was rewarded for this service with the full 
pay of an ensign for life, and the half-pay was settled upon her descendants 
in perpetuity." 

It is moreover stated " that this virago lost none of her courage 
at seeing her husband killed before her eyes, and that she 
wounded an English standard-bearer mortally with a lance." 

The assault was not renewed ; and the failure was so complete 
that Sir John Norris determined to abandon an enterprise which 
he now considered hopeless. But to secure his embarkation, 
without being molested, he deemed it expedient to disperse a 
very large military force, under the Conde de Antrade, which 
was encamped behind the Puente de Burgos, waiting there to be 
joined by the troops of the Conde de Altamira, in order that, 
with their united strength, they should advance to the relief of 
the town, and cut off the retreat of the English. 

The following extract from a joint letter of Sir John Norris 

chap, xi.] GROYNE (CORUNNA), AND LISBON. 157 

and Sir Francis Drake to the Privy Council will best describe 
their proceedings : — 

Extracted out of a Letter from Sir John Norris and 
Sir Francis Drake to the Council. 

7th May, 1589. 
Even as this letter was almost ended, certaine cumpanies of the Flemings 
heing sent abroade on foraging browght in a prisoner whoe uppon his lief 
assured us that theare weare 15,000 soldiers assembled and encamped verie 
strongelie at Puente de Burgos abowt 5 Englishe miles from us, under the 
conduct and commaundment of the Erles of Altamira and Andrada. Wheare- 
uppon on Tuesday the 6th of this present, wee marched towardes them with 
7000 soldiers, leaving the rest for the guard and siege of the towne, and 
encountringe with them, theie continued fighte the space of three quarters of 
an hower ; and then we forced them to retire to the foote of a bridge, 
wheareon not above three could martche in ranke, and was abowt ten scoare 
in length, from whence (althowgh theie weare theare defended by some for- 
tifications and had the benefitt and succour of certaine howses, and other 
places adjoining) theie weare followed with our shott and pikes, with such 
courage and fiercenes, as, after some fewe vollies on both sides, theie entred 
the bridge, wheare in the middest, with the pushe of the pike, forced to make 
retreate into their trenches to the further foote of the bridge wheare theie 
encamped which also (being pursued) theie forsooke and betooke themselves 
to flighte abandonninge their weapons, bagge and baggage, and loste about 
1000 in skirmishe and pursuite. 

Had wee had either horse on lande, or some companies of Irish kerne to 
have pursued them, theare had none of them escaped ; which cannot be but a 
notable dishonour to the Kinge, and in our opinions noe small furtherance to 
the service intended: Wee lost not above 2 common soldiers and one of the 
corporalls of the feeld. Sir Edward Norris, whoe ledd the vanntgard, gre- 
vouslie hurt with a blowe on the head, and Captaine Fulford shott in the 
arme. Capteine George shott in the left eie. Captaine Hinde wounded in 
three places of the head, but noe danger of lief in annie of them. 

Thus it hath pleased God to geve her Majestie the victorie which wee have 
great hope to pursue elsewheare with like success if we maie be succored 
with such necessaries as are neadefull : if not, wee can but doe our ende- 
vours, and leave the rest to the consideracion of your Lordships, whome we 
bumblie leave to the protection of the Almighty. From the Groine the 7th 
of May e, 1589.* 

Captain Fenner, in his account which is given in Birch's 
Memoirs, enters into a few more particulars : — 

MS. State Paper Office. 

158 EXPEDITION TO THE [chap. xi. 

" General Norris," he says, " with 1 700 men attempted the bridge, but 
was driven back. A second time he entered with Sir Edward Norris, Co- 
lonel Sidney, and Captain Cooper, and succeeded in driving back the Spa- 
niards, beating them out of their entrenchments, and continued slaying 
them in pursuit for more than a mile, in which affair from 1200 to 1300 
Spaniards were supposed to be slain : three English captains were killed, Sir 
Edward Norris and Colonel Sidney wounded. This service ended, and no 
hope left of gaining the higher town, for want of powder in the fleet, the 
General gave orders for the companies to re-embark." 

The following appears to have been the last letter written 
from this place : — 

Sir F. Drake to Lord Burghley. 

8 May, 1589. 
Right Honourable and my verie good Lorde, 

The 23th of the last monethe we fell with Ortingall in Gallizea, the 
winde blowinge verie muche easterlie. And the daie followinge we landede 
at the Groyne 7000 of our men : where we had attemptede the takinge of the 
Base Towne the same nighte. if extreame raine and verie fowle weather had 
not lettede us. The 25th we assaultede the Base Towne bo the by sea and 
lande, and tooke it with the onlie losse of 20 of our men, and 500 of the 
enemye. The windes have beene allwaies contrarie since our cominge here, 
blowinge verie muche with a greate sea and continewall showres of raine, 
which did somewhatt lett the service. We founde at our cominge thither 
fower greate shippes, makinge readie with all expedicion for a freshe Armado 
against Englande. Emongest which there was the Gallion St. John, the 
Vize Admirall of the Kinge's last fleete, which is burnte, and the other three 
taken : we have taken of the enemies in this place, out of the shippes, and 
towne, verie neere 150 peices ordinaunce : and have made spoile of manie 
greate provisions in readines for this newe armye. To deferre the tyme 
beinge staiede in by contrarie windes, wee layede batterie to the hiegher 
towne, findinge it to be stronglie defended, by reason of divers companies of 
old souldiers which were remayning there readie to goe fourth in this armye. 
The 5th of this monethe we tooke a souldier in the countrie : by whome we 
understood ho we the Governors of the countrie had assemblede by rowle 
1 5,000 olde souldiers and men of the countrie which (as we since heare) are 
but 10,000. Being shortlie advertisede that they had entrenched themselves 
within 5 miles of us, we thought it meete, uppon consultacion had the next 
morning, to salley fourth with 7000 of our men : who understanding our 
forces to come nighe unto them resolved to fighte, where it pleaseth God to 
allot us the victorie, which is no litle quailing to the enemye. My opinion 
is that great happines is fallen to our Queene and countrie by our cominge 
hither, where we staie untill God sende us a fair winde. If there had been 
good reckoninge made at first of the necessitie of this service, we should not 
then have needed theise particular wants of victuall, cannon, and powder. 

chap, xi.] GROYNE (CORUNNA), AND LISBON. 159 

The wante of the one maketh us to leave some services halfe donne ; and the 
other to seeke meate to live : whereof if there be no speedie supplie made, 
it maie be the cause to hinder suche an action as I shall not live to see the 
like, to performe great matters at so convenient a tyme. 

Thus I humblie take my leave of your good Lordship ; from the Groine 
this 8th of Maye, 1589. 

Your good Lordships humblie 
to be comaundede, 

(Signed) Fra : Drake. 

To the Right Honourable 

my verie goode Lorde the Lord Burgheley 
L : hieghe Treasorer of England.* 

Having plundered and burnt the enemy's camp, the lower town, 
and all the adjacent villages, they re-embarked the troops without 
any loss of men ; and on the 10th made sail down the coast of 
Portugal, and were joined at sea by the Earl of Essex, bringing 
with him some ships laden with corn for the use of the fleet. 
The Earl was accompanied by his brother Walter Devereux, Sir 
Roger Williams, Sir Philip Butler, and Sir Edward Wingfield. 

" This young nobleman," says Camden, " was supposed to be urged to 
join the expedition, partly from a thirst after glory, and partly from a 
hatred he bore to the Spaniards, and also from the generous motive of a com- 
passionate feeling towards the exiled Don Antonio ; whatever might have 
been his motives or ambition that made him quit the pleasures of a court, to 
try his fortune at sea and on the field of battle, he joined the expedition, 
without the Queen's leave or approbation." 

" Essex," says one of the pamphlets of the day, " is considered by us as the 
child of Mars, descended from a heroic and warlike family, a youth of lofty 
and enlightened mind, a great favourite of the people, the nobility, and the 
Queen, with a resolution to suffer and undergo all dangers, and rather than not 
be present at so splendid an expedition, he preferred being a private soldier 
without any command than to remain at home in high favour with every- 
one, surrounded by a herd of courtiers." And the ' True Copy of the Dis- 
course' says, "The Earle havinge put himself into the journey against the 
opinion of the world, and, as it seemed, to the hazard of his great fortune, 
though to the great advancement of his reputation, and as the honorable 
carriage of himselfe towards all men doth make him highly esteemed at 
home, so did his exceeding forwardness in all services make him to be won- 
dered at amongst us. After his coming into the fleet, to the great rejoicing 
of us all, he demanded of the General, that he might always have the leading 
of the van-guard, which he readily yielded unto, as being desirous to satisfie 
him in all things, but especially in matters so much tending to his honour as 
this did." 

* MS. State Paper Oflice. 

160 EXPEDITION TO THE [chap. xi. 

The expedition arrived in nine days at Peniche, about forty 
miles from Lisbon ; and here the troops were disembarked with 
the loss of a boat and above twenty men in the surf. Two 
troops were placed under the command of Essex, one of which 
he left to protect the landing, and with the other advanced 
towards the town to attack some Spanish troops that came out to 
oppose him. These troops not being proof against the push of 
the pike, fled, and he entered the open town without opposition, 
and summoned the castle, which the commandant readily surren- 
dered to Don Antonio, acknowledging him as his king. 

Sir John Norris decided on proceeding at once by land, and 
Sir Francis Drake promised to meet him at Lisbon. Such a 
promise could only be conditional. The True Discourse says 
that when they were all marshalled and ready to march, Drake, 

" To make known the honourable desire he had of taking equal part in all 
fortune with them, stood upon the ascent of a hill by which the battalions 
marched, and, with a pleasing kindness, took his leave severally of the com- 
manders of every regiment, wishing them happy success, with a constant 
promise that if the weather did not hinder him, he would meet them at Lisbon 
with the fleet." 

In the march to Lisbon, Don Antonio, who was with the 
army, expected that the nobility and chiefs of the country would 
have met him, and tendered their allegiance to him with the offer 
of such forces as they might be able to raise to support his claim 
to the throne ; but no one appeared except a company of poor 
peasants, without hose or shoes, and one gentleman, who pre- 
sented him with a basket of cherries and plums. The troops, 
on their way, took the town of Torres Vedras, with little or no 
resistance, except a few skirmishes, in all of which the Spaniards 
had the worst of it ; and on the 25th they came before Lisbon. 

The suburbs of St. Katharine or Bonavista were taken without 
opposition ; but the army was received with coldness and indif- 
ference, and not the least inclination was apparent on the part of 
the people to declare for the Prince, or to render him any assist- 
ance : nor were there any tidings of the ships and men which 
Antonio had been promised by the Emperor of Morocco. The 
army was from day to day diminished by sickness, their provisions 
were rapidly decreasing, they were deficient in ammunition, and 
had not even a field-piece by which they could blow down one of 
the gates of Lisbon. 

chap, xi.] GROYNE (CORUNNA), AND LISBON. 161 

On one occasion Essex not only pursued the Spaniards to the 
very gates of Lisbon, but would have rushed in with them had 
not his friend Sir Roger Williams held him back by main force. 
On another occasion he is said to have actually knocked at one 
of the gates of the city. 

For an army to march into the interior of an enemy's country, 
and up to the very walls of a large fortified city, without the com- 
mon implements and ammunition of war, seems to have been a 
most extraordinary error of judgment. Captain William Fenner, 
who calls the whole expedition, from first to last, " a miserable 
action," thus describes their position before Lisbon : — 

" The want of a single piece to make a breach or shoot against the gates 
prevented the English from taking it. — The want of match among the 
soldiers, and of powder for their muskets, forced them to retire, when the 
Spaniards would sally out, in the habits of Portuguese, crying amigos, and 
slay the sick in the rear of the army ; disregarding their wants, sick and 
sound together. Three captains, the Provost Marshal and Lieutenant of 
Ordnance being mortally wounded, were left behind for want of carriage." 

Sir William Monson ascribes the loss of Lisbon to the want of 
field-pieces ; for, he says, 

" The strength consisting in the castle, and we having only an army to 
countenance us, but no means for battery, we were the loss of the victory 
ourselves ; for it was apparent, by the intelligence we received, if we had 
presented them with battery, they were resolved to parley, and so, by conse- 
quence, to yield, and this was the main and chief reason of the Portuguese 
excuse for not joining with us." 

Seeing there was nothing further to be done here, the army 
began its march to join Drake at Cascais. They were followed 
at a distance by a large body of Spanish troops; and it was 
announced to the General, by one of his scouts, that a certain 
Don Peter Henry de Guzman (Conde de Fuentes), who had 
6000 foot soldiers and 500 horse, had pitched his camp not more 
than 2000 paces from the English army, and had proclaimed that 
they had been routed at Lisbon, and put to flight. JNorris, 
highly indignant at this, sent the Don a letter at daylight, under 
his own hand, by a trumpeter, informing him that with his 
army, such as it was, he should be with him before noon to con- 
fute his falsehoods, not by words, but arms, if he would only wait 
for his advance, and that then a trial should be made whether an 
Englishman or a Spaniard would be the first to run away. 


1G2 EXPEDITION TO THE [chap. xi. 

At the same time, and by the same messenger, the Earl of 
Essex challenged him, or any other Spaniard of his rank, to 
single combat ; or, if Don Peter had no taste for it himself, that 
ten Englishmen should try their hands with ten Spaniards. This 
gallant Count, however, not relishing any of these proposals, dis- 
appeared with the whole of his force in the middle of the night. 
The trumpeter, with English pertinacity, followed him nearly to 
Lisbon ; but could get no answer to either of the letters, except 
threatening to hang him for daring to bring such messages ; but 
the General had written, on the back of the passport, that if any 
violence was offered to his messenger, he would hang the best of 
his Spanish prisoners. 

Drake had, in the first instance, taken possession of the town 
of Cascais, the inhabitants having abandoned it on his landing ; 
but on giving his assurance of protection and peaceable inten- 
tions, they returned ; he, however, requiring of them that they 
would acknowledge Antonio as their sovereign, and supply the 
fleet with provisions and necessaries. The castle affected to hold 
out : but Drake soon made them surrender, and blew up a great 
portion of it. He seized sixty sail of ships belonging to the 
Hanse towns, which, in defiance of the Queen's prohibition, had 
arrived there laden with corn and all manner of naval stores, 
evidently designed for a second attempt against England. He 
had already in his passage to Cascais fallen in with and taken 
many ships carrying provisions and naval stores to Lisbon ; and 
some, also, of considerable burden, nearly empty, and evidently 
built as ships of war. 

The army, having reached Cascais, and everything being pre- 
pared, lost no time in re-embarking ; but the fleet was dispersed 
in a gale, and for seventeen days kept the sea before they could 
reach Vigo ; in which interval they cast a great many of the 
men into the sea, who died daily, not only from a fearful sick- 
ness raging among them, but from absolute hunger ; and it is 
said that many more must have perished from lack of food, 
had not the dreadful mortality been the means of thinning their 
ranks, and thus leaving an increased allowance for the survivors. 
In this deplorable state, it was deemed expedient to land, and 
obtain provisions by force of arms or otherwise. They found 
the number of their effective men not to exceed 2000 : with these 

chap, xi.] GROYNE (CORUNNA), AND LISBON. 163 

they landed and approached the town on two sides ; and though 
the streets were barricadoed, the inhabitants made no resistance, 
the greater part having withdrawn, and carried with them every- 
thing of value, except a good store of wine. The invaders, 
therefore, contented themselves with spoiling the country for a 
few miles round, burning the villages and the standing corn ; and 
then, after setting fire to the town, re-embarked. 

It was agreed that Drake should draft the able men into 
twenty of the best ships, and that he should take them to the 
Azores, in the hope of falling in with the Indian return fleet ; and 
that Norris, with the rest of the armament, should proceed home- 
wards. They had scarcely separated, when a violent storm arose ; 
both the squadrons were dispersed ; and when Norris, twelve days 
afterwards, reached Plymouth, he found that Drake had already 
arrived there with all the Queen's ships and several others ; but 
that many of the merchant adventurers had taken the opportu- 
nity, which the storm afforded, of going their own way, and car- 
rying the prizes with them, in order to turn them to their own 
advantage. At Plymouth the army was disbanded ; and every 
soldier received five shillings and his arms. 

" From this voyage," says Camden, " they returned into England with 
150 pieces of great ordnance and a very rich booty; part of which was di- 
vided among the seamen, who began to mutiny, but could not satisfy them. 

" Most men were of opinion that the English hereby answered all points, 
both of revenge and honour, having in so short a compass of time taken one 
town by storm, made a glorious assault upon another, driven before them a 
very potent army, landed their forces in four several places, marched seven 
days together in order of battle, and with colours flying, through the enemy's 
country, attacked a strong and flourishing city with a small handful of men, 
and lodged for three nights in the suburbs of it. Besides that, they beat the 
enemy back to the very gates after they had made a sally ; took two castles 
lying on the sea, and spoiled the enemy of all their stores and ammunition. 

" However, there were others who thought all this was no manner of equi- 
valent for the damages sustained in this enterprise ; the loss of soldiers and 
seamen by sickness alone amounting to 6,000. 

" But most certain it is that England was so far a gainer by this expedi- 
tion as from that time to apprehend no incursions from Spain, but rather to 
grow more warm and animated against that country." 

Nothing could be worse than the system, then prevailing, of 
allowing volunteer adventurers to be united in expeditions with 
the naval and military forces of the nation ; nor could a stronger 

M 2 

164 EXPEDITION TO THE [chap. xi. 

example of the evils resulting from it be selected than this expe- 
dition to Portugal. 

It was said, also, that the two commanders quarrelled ; but 
there does not appear in any of the narratives, nor in their cor- 
respondence, the least grounds for such an assertion. Blame 
was attempted to be cast on Sir Francis Drake, for having broken 
his promise to join the army at Lisbon. His promise, however, 
was conditional ; as indeed all promises of this nature must be ; 
but, says Monson, 

" He did not keep his promise, and therefore he was much blamed by 
the common consent of all men, imputing the overthrow of the action to 
him. It will not excuse Sir Francis Drake, in his promise made to Sir 
John Norris, tbough I would utterly have accused him of want of discretion, 
if he had put the fleet to so great an adventure to so little purpose ; for his 
being in the harbour of Lisbon was nothing to the taking of the castle, which 
was two miles from thence ; and had the castle been taken, the town would 
have been taken of course. 

" And, moreover, the ships could not furnish the army with more men or 
victuals than they had ; wherefore I understand not wherein his going up 
was necessary, and yet the fleet was to endure many hazards to this little 
purpose. For, betwixt Cascaes and Lisbon there are three castles, St. Julian, 
St. Francis, and Belem. The first of the three, I hold one of the most im- 
pregnable forts, to seaward, in Europe, by which the fleet was to pass, within 
culliver-shot ; though, I confess, the greatest danger was not the passing it, 
for, with a reasonable gale of wind, any fort is to be passed with small 

Monson, however, considers the landing at the Groyne to have 
been the great mistake, the origo malorum : 

" It was a lingering of the other design, a consuming of victuals, weaken- 
ing of the armies by the immoderate drinking of the soldiers, which brought 
a lamentable sickness amongst them, a warning to the Spaniards to strengthen 
Portugal, and, what was more than all this, a discouragement to proceed 
farther, being repulsed in the first attempt." 

The letters, which the two commanders wrote from Plymouth, 
point out the ill effects which had ensued from the parsimony of 
the Government, even in the supply of articles absolutely neces- 
sary for the support of life. The Queen was anxious to avenge 
the insults of her enemies, and to carry the war into their 
country ; and she contributed as far as her means would allow 
her : but the history of her reign shows the extreme difficulty 

chap, xi.] GROYNE (CORUNNA), AND LISBON. 168 

of raising the necessary supplies, and the defective system of 
warfare thence resulting. 

The [ True Discourse,' however, maintains that one of the 
great purposes of the expedition, as a blow against Philip, was 
fully answered. 

M In this short time of our adventure, we have wonne a towne by escalade, 
battered and assaulted another, overthrown a mighty prince's power in the 
field, landed our army in three several parts of his kingdom, marched seven 
days in the heart of his country, lyen three nights in the suburbes of his 
principal citie, beaten his forces into the gates thereof, and possessed two of 
his frontier forts ; spoiled a great part of the provision he had made at the 
Groyne of all sorts, for a newe voyage into England, burnt three of his ships, 
whereof one was the second in the last expedition, taken from him 150 pieces 
of good artillarie, cut off more than 60 hulks, and 20 French ships well 
manned, fit and ready to serve him as men of warre against us, laden for his 
store with corn, victuals, masts, cables, and other merchandizes ; slain and 
taken the principal men of warre he had in Galatia ; and made Don Pedro de 
Gusman, Conde de Fuentes, shamefully runne at Peniche." 

It is quite certain that all the adventurers in this expedition 
were disappointed and dissatisfied ; the destruction, instead of the 
capture, of ships and property diminished their share of booty, 
for which alone most of them had volunteered on the enterprise. 
Among others the Dutchmen made a demand of 5019/. on Drake 
and Norris for the services of forty-four vessels employed in the 
conveyance of troops ; and about one-half that sum was allowed 

But among the most disappointed of the adventurers, for he 
was strictly such, was the exiled Don Antonio. The case of 
this poor claimant of a throne was a most distressing one, and 
had now become more hopeless than ever. The Queen afforded 
him some temporary relief; but he had nothing more to expect 
in England, and therefore repaired to France, where he hoped to 
find friends ; but in this lie was disappointed, and wandering as 
an exile through the various countries of Europe, he died in 
Paris in the year 1595 ; at which time his only follower was a 
Portuguese noble, Don Diego Bothei, who attended his master 
to the last with unshaken fidelity, and only asked, as the reward 
of all his services, to be buried at his feet. 

As to Essex, who embarked in the enterprise contrary to the 
Queen's commands, his fortunes were desperate at the time ; but 
by some means or other he had succeeded in procuring a ship 

166 EXPEDITION TO LISBON. [chap. xi. 

well-armed and manned, in which he captured several prizes 
previous to his joining- the expedition, and therefore had less 
cause to be disappointed than others. 

The following- letter to the Vice-Chamberlain was written by 
him before his departure for Portugal : — > 

Sir, March, 1589. 

What my courses may have been I need not repeat, for no man knoweth 
them better than yourself. What my state is now, I will tell you : my re- 
venue no greater than it was when I sued my livery ; my debts, at the least, 
two or three-and-twenty thousand pounds. Her Majesty's goodness hath 
been so great, as I could not ask more of her. No way left to repair myself 
but mine own adventure, which I had much rather undertake then to offend 
Her Majesty, with sutes, as I have done heretofore. If I speed well I will 
adventure to be rich ; if not, I will never leiev to see the end of my poverty. 
And so wishing that this letter, which I have left for you, may come to your 
hands, I commit you to God's good protection. 

From my study some few days before my departure. 

Your assured friend, 

To my honourable friend, 

Mr. Vice-Chamberlain. 

This young nobleman was fortune's favourite child, caressed 
and loved by every one, from the Queen downwards ; and he 
possessed all those amiable and great qualities which are given 
to him by the writer of the Latin narrative of the present expedi- 
tion, " Summo omnium applausu et lastitia excipitur ; est enim 
propter virtutes animi, corporisque dotes, generis et familiae 
nobilitatem, et in re militari scientiam, et industriam, nobilis 
longe gratissimus."f Elizabeth was so pleased with the heroism 
he had displayed, that, on his return, she took the earliest oppor- 
tunity of showering honours and rewards upon him — made him 
Commander-in-Chief and Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland ; created 
him Earl Marshal of England, and employed him on various 
important services. 

* Burley's State Papers. f ' Ephemeris Expeditionis.' 

chap, xii.] VOYAGE OF DRAKE AND HAWKINS, &c. 167 




Letter of Drake to Prince Henry de Bourbon, and his reply — A fleet fitted 
out under Drake and Hawkins — Its object — Attack on the Grand Canary 
fails— The fleet separates in a storm — Meet at Guadaloupe — Death of 
Hawkins — Sir F. Clifford and Master Browne killed by shot from the 
forts — Unsuccessful attack by the pinnaces of the squadron — La Hacha, 
Rancheria, Santa Martha, and Nombre de Dios taken — Attempt to reach 
Panama fails — Death of Drake — Return of Expedition — Character of 
Drake by Fuller, Stow, and others — Review of his career. 

It was some years after the return from the last expedition, before 
Sir Francis Drake was appointed to the command of another : but 
a man of his active and enterprising spirit was not likely to remain 
in a state of inactivity. The first we hear of hiin is by a letter 
written by him, in Latin, to the Prince Henry de Bourbon. This 
letter, and the Prince's reply, are to be found in Rymer's 
' Foedera.' The following are translations : — 

To the Prince Henry be Bourbon. 

After it was made known here that the common enemy of the two 
kingdoms had landed forces at Nunnetum (Brittany), Her Most Serene Ma- 
jesty, my Mistress, by the advice of her Council, commanded a small vessel 
(celox) to be fitted out as speedily as possible, and that I should repair into 
the ports of the northern provinces (Armoricse) and discover, by every fit 
means, what these Spaniards may be contriving ; in what places they abide, 
and what is the state of their affairs. 

I have therefore considered that, of all these matters, I should be made 
more certain from no one so well as from Your Highness, whose authority is 
omnipotent through the whole country, and may be acted upon safely in such 

For this purpose, as is meet, I earnestly beseech, with all entreaty, that it 
may not seem troublesome to Your Highness, concerning the councils, the 


preparations and the designs of those enemies, which are things very neces- 
sary you should be made acquainted with ; also that you would communicate 
with me, as early as possible, hoping (as I pray without ceasing to our Lord 
Jesus Christ, the King of kings) that the ferocity of this common enemy may 
speedily yield to the benefit of France, and England. 

Francis Drake. 

Datse a.d.n. Idiis Novembris, 1590. 
Henry Bourbon, Prince of the Do3Ib^e, to the Most Eenowned 
Francis Drake. — Health. 

It is a royal act (most illustrious Knight), of one's own accord to succour 
the wretched. Then how much more royal is the mind of your Queen, that 
so many and such great kindnesses should be manifested towards the Most 
Christian King, and all France, more especially in these times, in which she 
hath often sent troops and succour against an invading enemy. 

But lest it should seem that one part only of the kingdom of France should 
be taken care of, and the rest neglected, as soon as it was known that a mili- 
tary force of Spain had landed in this province, and that you, a man cele- 
brated by fame and noble deeds, are desirous of knowing from me what 
should be done, and where the enemy is posted— this is what you ask me in 
your letter. 

Most willingly and truly I obey the commands of such a Queen, and will 
satisfy your desire. 

Your Lordship therefore may be informed that the common enemy now 
occupies the city, which, in the country idiom, is called Hennebon ; is 
blockading both it and the port, which is not far from the city, and which 
we call Blaovet, and is there constructing a strong fortified citadel. 

If these enterprises be not, as quickly as possible, provided against, it is 
to be feared lest this injury, which seems to be destined for us, may end in 
detriment to your republic. 

Now I, relying on your advice, have sent a letter to the Queen, your 
Mistress, concerning these affairs, by a noble person, the Viscount Turen, 
who visited England by command of His Most Christian Majesty : and I 
have earnestly entreated for auxiliary forces; but I also now, in another 
letter to the Queen, have requested the same thing ; and I eagerly entreat 
you, most Excellent Sir, that you would strengthen my petition before the 
Queen, as much as possible, by your authority and favour. — Accept the rest 
from a Nobleman who is wanting in words : 

Tuus ad omnia paratissimus. 

Henry de Bourbon. 

The King of Spain had every facility for these incursions, 
owing to the proximity of the Duke of Parma; who, remember- 
ing his former remissness, might be glad of an opportunity to 
reinstate himself in the good graces of Philip. Besides, the 
confusion into which France was thrown, by the murder of the 

ciiAr. mi.] TO THE SPANISH COLONIES. 1 09 

Duke of Guise, and of Henry III., gave great encouragement to 
the Spaniards. But Elizabeth, ever awake to the dangers of the 
'country, sent a reinforcement to Henry IV. of 4000 men, to join 
the French at Dieppe, and a further supply under the Earl of 
Essex. She also, in the same year, sent out a squadron of seven 
of her ships, under the command of Lord Thomas Howard, with 
Sir Richard Greenvil his Vice- Admiral, with order to proceed 
to the Azores to intercept the Plata fleet : but Philip, being 
apprised of it, despatched a fleet of more than fifty sail. They met 
and fought ; but the superior strength of the Spaniards was so 
great, that the English were compelled to give way ; with the 
exception of Sir Richard Greenvil, who, alone, in the Revenge, 
fought, with the most determined bravery, the whole Spanish 
fleet for twelve hours, repulsing the enemy, who boarded him 
fifteen times : he was twice wounded, and carried down ; he re- 
ceived a shot in the head, and the surgeon, who was dressing his 
wounds, was killed by his side. In this hopeless state he advised 
that they should sink the ship rather than yield ; but most of the 
crew opposed it, and she was taken. 

" The only ship of war," says Monson, " that was yet taken by the Spa- 
niards ; and of no avail to them, the Revenge having gone down Avith 200 
Spaniards in her." 

This noble and heroic commander survived the action but a 
few days ; but his death was as noble as his life. According to 
Camden, he said — 

" Here I, Richard Greenvil, die with a joyful and quiet mind ; for that I 
have ended my life as a true soldier ought to do, fighting for his country, 
Queen, religion, and honour : my soul willingly departing from this body, 
leaving behind the lasting fame of having behaved as every valiant soldier is 
in his duty bound to do." 

In the parliament of 1592-3, Drake, who sat for Plymouth, 
had various duties assigned to him, and his name appears upon 
all the committees on public business ; and the bills from several 
of them were put into his hands. He recommended strong mea- 
sures to be taken by sea and land, as Philip was powerful on 
both ; and spoke and voted for a grant or aid of three subsidies 
being given to the Queen for that purpose. Sir Martin Fro- 
bisher was sent to sea with a fleet to harass the trade of 
Spain: and when the parliament was dissolved, in 1593, the 


Queen gave notice that she intended to place a fleet under Sir 
Francis Drake ; who accordingly, in the following year, made his 
arrangements, and associated with him his old friend and early ' 
patron, Sir John Hawkins. 

This expedition was unfortunate in its progress, and fatal in its 
termination. It is remarkable that Sir John Hawkins, at his 
advanced age, being between seventy-five and eighty, in wealthy 
circumstances, and after having been twenty-two years Treasurer 
of the Navy, should have volunteered, as it appears he did, upon 
a second hazardous and unhealthy voyage. Five years before, 
the Queen had appointed him and Sir Martin Frobisher to the 
command of a squadron of ten of her best ships, to scour the 
coast of Spain, and destroy any shipping belonging to that country 
which they should fall in with. Although at sea for seven 
months, they did not take a single ship ; they attempted Fayal, 
and found it too strong for them ; and the carracks from the 
Indies, on which their chief hopes depended, had slipped into 
Lisbon, unseen. All these disappointments annoyed Sir John 
Hawkins to such a degree, that he could not refrain from writing 
an apology to the Queen for their want of success ; reminding 
her Majesty that the Scripture says, " Paul planteth and Apollos 
watereth, but God giveth the increase." This allusion to Scrip- 
ture elicited one of her usual bursts, " God's death !" she ex- 
claimed, " this fool went out a soldier, and is come home a 

It is probable that the desire of increasing his wealth, redeem- 
ing his character with the Queen, or serving his country, all 
of them powerful motives, might induce him to hazard 
his fortune, his reputation, and his person a second time in this 
dangerous service. But it has been said that he had a still more 
laudable object in view ; — the redeeming his son, Captain Richard 
Hawkins, who was at this time a prisoner in the hands of the 
Spaniards in South America. 

Captain Hawkins had, in the year 1593, fitted out two ships 
for the South Sea ; one of which deserted him on the coast of 
Brazil. He, however, in his single ship, passed through the Strait 
of Magelhaens, took two prizes on the other side, and was attacked 
on the coast of Peru by Admiral de Castro, with a squadron of 
eight sail, and 2000 men on board. From this overwhelming 

chap, xii.] TO THE SPANISH COLONIES. 171 

force Hawkins, by superior seamanship, found means to disengage 
himself, after doing considerable damage to the Spaniards ; but, 
in consequence of his staying too long in that part of the South 
Sea, in the hope of taking more prizes, De Castro, now much 
reinforced, again fell in with him ; and after a gallant defence 
for three days and three nights, most of his men being killed, 
himself dangerously wounded, and his ship in a sinking state, he 
was compelled to surrender ; on the honourable terms, however, 
that he and the survivors of his crew should have a free passage 
to England as soon as might be. 

Notwithstanding this agreement, he remained a long time in 
South America as .a prisoner ; where, however, he was treated 
with great humanity by Admiral de Castro ; and in the end was 
sent a prisoner to Spain, where he was kept for several years. 
What were the means which his father proposed to adopt for 
his release does not appear, whether by threats, or terror, or 

That Drake should cheerfully join his early friend and patron 
in such a project is not surprising : his warm and affectionate 
regard for the man who had first brought him forward in his 
career, with whom he had fought against the Armada, and with 
whom he lived in ties of the strictest friendship, were quite suffi- 
cient to induce him to enter into the scheme. But he had 
another still stronger inducement — the_mve±exate hatred he bore 
the Spaniards, who, unceasing in their animosity towards Eng- 
land, were contemplating another Invincible Armada. He was 
also anxious to propitiate the Queen by the offer of his services, 
which he had every reason to know would be acceptable. Mon- 
son, in his usual caustic manner, says — 

" These two Generals (Sir Francis Drake and Sir John Hawkins), pre- 
suming much upon their own experience and knowledge, used many argu- 
ments to persuade the Queen to undertake this voyage to the West Indies, 
assuring her what great services they should perform, and promising to en- 
gage very deeply in the adventure themselves, both with their substance and 
their persons : and such was the opinion every one had conceived of these 
two valiant Commanders, that great were the expectations of the success of 
this voyage." 

The squadron which the Queen ordered to be fitted out to act 
against the Spanish colonies in America, and to be placed under 


the command of Sir Francis Drake and Sir John Hawkins, con- 
sisted of the following ships and commanders — 

The Defiance, Admiral Sir Francis Drake. 

Garland, Vice- Admiral Sir John Hawkins. 

Hope, Captain Gilbert York. 

Buonaventure, Captain Troughton. 

Foresight, Captain Winter. 

Adventure, Captain Thomas Drake. 
Commander by land, Sir Thomas Baskerville. 
About twenty others were furnished by individuals ; and there 
can be no doubt that both the Admirals were large contributors 
of the expense. There were also three other officers, of the 
name of Baskerville, besides the Commander, two of them cap- 
tains, and one sergeant-major ; also Sir Nicholas Clifford, lieu- 
tenant-general, and eight other captains for the land service. 

The destination of the expedition was Puerto Rico ; to 
which place the Queen had been informed that a vast treasure 
had been brought for the purpose of being sent home for the 
use of the King of Spain in completing the third grand arma- 
ment for the invasion of England, the second having been 
destroyed by Drake. One grand object of the present enter- 
prise was to intercept this treasure, and thereby cut off the 
main supply of the King's navy and army destined for that 

The first intention, however, had been to land the troops at 
Nombre de Dios, and proceed direct from thence over the 
isthmus to Panama, in order to seize the treasure, annually 
brought thither from the mines of Mexico and Peru : but, a few 
days before their departure from Plymouth, they received letters 
sent by order of the Queen, informing them that advices had 
been received from Spain, .announcing the arrival of the West 
Indian or Plata fleet ; but that one of the most valuable of the 
ships had lost her mast and put into the island of Puerto Rico ; 
and it was therefore her Majesty's recommendation that they 
should proceed direct to that island, to secure this portion of the 
treasure, more especially as it was not much out of their way to 
Nombre de Dios. 

The following is the joint reply of Drake and Hawkins to 
Lord Burleigh, acknowledging the receipt of her Majesty's 

chap, xii.] TO THE SPANISH COLONIES. 173 

letter. It appears to have been the last dispatch that either of 
them ever wrote : — 

Drake and Hawkins to Lord Burleigh. 
Our dewty in most humble maner remembryd, yt may please yo r Lo ship 
we have answeryd her Ma ties letter, we hope to her heighnes contentmente 
whome we wold nott wetyngly or wyllyngly displease. We humbly thanke 
your Lo ship for yo r manyfold favours w ch we have allwayes fownd never 
varyable, but w ,h all favour, loue and constancye for w ch we can never be 
suffycyently thanckfull but w l our prayers to god long to blesse yo. good 
Lo ship wt honour & healthe. 

We thynke yt be trew that some small man of warre be taken upon the 
cost of spayne but they are of very small moment, they be for the most pt 
soche small carvells as was before this taken from the Spanyards, some small 
nomber of our men are yet in spayne, wc h ys the onely losse, but, as we lerne, 
ther be not above one hundrethe left in spayne of them but many retornyd, 
alreddy into Inglond. 

& so lokyng daylye for a good wynd we humbly take our leve from ply- 
mothe the 18 of August 1595. 

Your 11. ever most bownden 

Fra : Drake. John Hawkyns.* 

(Note in a contemporary hand, at the bottom of the letter.) 
The q. sent these two brave sea captaines w th a Fleet to Porto Eico in 
America, belonging to y c Spanyard, having heard of a great mass of tresure 
brought thither. But it is proved an unsuccessful attempt. And neither of 
y m returned ever home again, both dying at sea at different places, in this 

To the Ry l honorable 

our syngular good lord the Lo. heigh Tresorer of Inglond, 
gyve this at the Court. 

The expedition left Plymouth on the 28th of August, 1595, 
but did not get clear of the land till the last day of that month. 
They then directed their course to Grand Canary, the principal 
island of the group that bears that name, but did not reach it 
until the 27th of September. An attempt to subdue this island, 
and take possession of it, failed. Hawkins had remonstrated 
against this attempt as a loss of time, and as being contrary to 
the Queen's wishes and to their main design : but Drake and 
Baskerville decided for it ; and particularly the latter, who under- 
took to get possession of it in four days ; urging that it would be 
very desirable to victual the whole squadron there, which could 
only be done by having uninterrupted possession of the town. 
The seamen, it was said, were already complaining of the scarcity 
* Harleian MSS., British Museum. 


of provisions ; and so many reasons were assigned that Hawkins 
reluctantly submitted. This decision turned out to be the first 
misfortune in their progress ; for they were unable to land the 
fourteen hundred men in the boats on account of the surf, without 
incurring too great a risk. However they succeeded in watering 
the ships on the western side of the island. Here Captain 
Grimston, and his boat's crew, straggling to some distance 
from the shore, were set upon by some herdsmen, who with their 
dogs and staves killed him and most of his men, wounded the 
rest, and took the surgeon of one of the ships prisoner. This 
man told them all he knew concerning the object of the voyage ; 
upon which the governor dispatched a caraval to all the places 
he had named to announce the danger. 

Leaving this island and approaching Martinico, Drake, who 
was a-head with four or five ships, was separated from the rest of 
the fleet by a sudden storm ; but they joined company at Guada- 
loupe. Here they watered, washed the ships, set up the pinnaces, 
the materials of which they had carried out, and landed the men, 
that they might refresh themselves on shore. 

On the 8th of November the squadron came to anchor within 
the Virgin Islands : here they stayed four days ; tlie two last in 
a sound, which Drake in his barge had discovered. They then 
stood for the eastern end of Puerto Rico, where Sir John Haw- 
kins breathed his last on the 12th of the month. It is asserted 
by some of the old writers that there was some difference of 
opinion between him and Drake, which preyed on his mind so 
greatly as to cause his death : there does not, however, appear to 
have been any disagreement between them, except as to their stay 
at the Canaries ; and that was owing chiefly to the confidence ex- 
pressed by the military commander. The unfortunate circum- 
stance of their whole plan of operations being anticipated by the 
authorities of Nombre de Dios and Panama, no doubt gave him 
a considerable degree of annoyance ; but Ids— gr^at.. a.g^-<w>fl 
exposure to a most unhealthy climate, which was carrying off 
hundreds of stronger men, sufficiently account for his death. 

Sir Thomas Baskerville took possession of the Garland as 
second in command ; and the fleet came to anchor at the distance 
of two miles or less from the eastern side of the town of San 
Juan de Puerto Rico, 

chap, xii.] TO THE SPANISH COLONIES. 175 

" Where," says Hakluyt, " we received from their forts and places, where 
they planted ordnance, some twenty-eight great shot, the last of which strake 
the Admiral (ship) through the misen, and the last but one strake through 
her quarter into the steerage, the General being there at supper, and strake 
the stool from under him, but hurt him not, but hurt at the same table Sir 
Nicholas Clifford, Mr. Browne, Captain Stratford, with one or two more. 
Sir Nicholas Clifford and Master (Brute) Browne died of their hurts." 

Browne was an old friend and particular favourite of Drake ; 
who is said on this occasion to have exclaimed, " Ah, dear Brute, 
I could grieve for thee ! but now is no time for me to let down 
my spirits." This, Fuller tells us, he had from Henry Drake, 
who was present. 

The following morning the whole fleet came to anchor before 
the point of the harbour without the town, a little to the west- 
ward, where they remained till nightfall ; and then twenty -five 
pinnaces, boats, and shallops, well-manned and furnished with 
fire-works and small shot, entered the road. The great castle or 
galleon, the object of the present enterprise, had been completely 
repaired, and was on the point of sailing, when certain intelli- 
gence, of the intended attack by Drake, reached the island. 
Every preparation had been made for the defence of the harbour 
and town ; the whole of the treasure had been landed, and the 
galleon was sunk in the mouth of the harbour; a floating barrier 
of masts and spars was laid on each side of her, near to the forts 
and castles, so as to render the entrance impassable ; within this 
breakwater were the five zabras moored, their treasure also having 
been taken out ; all the women and children and infirm people 
were removed into the interior, and none but men able to act in 
defence of the town were left in it. A heavy fire was opened on 
the ships of the English ; but the adventurers persisted in their 
desperate attempt, until they had lost, by their own account, some 
forty or fifty men killed, and as many wounded ; but as far as that 
was any consolation, they had reason to believe that the loss to 
the Spaniards was considerably greater ; for the five zabras and 
a large ship of four hundred tons were burnt ; and their several 
cargoes of silk, oil, and wine, which were destroyed, were reported 
by one of the prisoners to be worth three millions of ducats, or 
five-and-thirty tons of silver. Defeated in the main object, but 
not disheartened, the advanced party of pinnaces and small 
vessels, which had been engaged, returned to the fleet in the 


offing, which remained at anchor the next day ; and then removed 
to the south-west point of the island to set up more pinnaces, 
wash the ships, and refresh their crews. 

They next proceeded to the Caribbean shore, and took the 
town of La Hacha ; but were satisfied with a ransom offered 
by the inhabitants of thirty-four thousand ducats. From hence 
they proceeded along the coast, and took the town or village of 
Rancheria, after seizing a quantity of pearls, with other pillage, 
and a brigantine, having on board some pearls and silver. The 
inhabitants at length consented to pay a ransom for the town of 
twenty-four thousand ducats, and one prisoner promised to give 
four thousand ducats for his own ransom. In four days they 
brought the town's ransom in pearls, but rated them so dear that 
Drake refused to receive them ; he, however, gave the people a 
respite of four hours to bring the required amount of treasure. 

The Spanish Governor himself now made his appearance, and 
told the General plainly that he cared not for the town, nei- 
ther would he ransom it ; that the pearls were brought without 
his consent ; that he should have been sooner on the spot, but 
that he had to warn all the towns on the coast of their danger, 
that the inhabitants might convey all their goods, cattle, and 
wealth into the woods. The General dismissed him, having 
given him his promise of safe conduct for two hours. The towns 
of Rancheria and of Rio de la Hacha were then burnt down to 
the ground, excepting the churches and the house of a lady, 
who, having written to Drake, imploring his clemency, was 
specially favoured by him. 

The expedition afterwards burnt several other small villages 
on the coast, and then took possession of Santa Martha ; which, 
when it was ascertained that no ransom whatever could be ob- 
tained for it, they also burnt. 

After these operations, as little interesting as they are credit- 
able to the English character, but which it cannot be doubted 
originated, not in Drake's free will, but in the instructions under 
which he acted, they proceeded to the port of Nombre de Dios, 
which had been originally intended as their first destination. 
The town was easily taken, after a short resistance from about 
100 Spaniards, all the rest having fled. A volley from three or 
four small pieces of ordnance and a few musket shots sufficed 

chap, xii.] . TO THE SPANISH COLONIES. 177 

to clear the town; but the captors, finding neither booty nor 
ransom, destroyed the place with all the frigates, barks, and 
galliots that were in the harbour and on the beach : those on 
the beach had houses built over them to keep the pitch from 
melting. In a watch-house on the top of a hill, near the town, 
they found twenty "sowes" of silver, two bars of gold, some 
pearl, coined money, and other trifling articles. 

It was now decided that an attempt should be made on Panama ; 
where it was considered as almost certain that a large quantity of 
treasure would be found, that place being the grand repository of 
all the Peruvian gold and silver. For this purpose 750 soldiers 
were selected to march across the isthmus to Panama, under the 
command of Sir Thomas Baskerville. Whether he relied on 
receiving the same cordial assistance from the Symerons, or 
Maroons, which Drake had formerly had, does not appear ; but 
if so, he must have been grievously disappointed ; for the natives 
proved enemies instead of friends, and greatly harassed the Eng- 
lish with showers of small shot from the woods on their passage 
through some narrow defiles. " The march was so sore," says 
Hakluyt, "as never Englishmen marched before." Finding, 
moreover, that further on, the pass was defended by three newly- 
erected forts, it was deemed prudent to abandon the enterprise 
and make the best of their way back to the fleet. Accordingly 
they retraced their steps, wretchedly harassed, and half-starved ; 
after having marched about half way to the shore of the South 
Sea. Their loss on this occasion amounted to five or six officers 
and nearly ninety men. 

This change of circumstances in the two important stations of 
Nombre de Dios and Panama, since Drake's celebrated visit, 
might readily have been expected : but it is evident that the new 
forts on the isthmus had been erected in consequence of the 
information recently received ; and that the extraordinary delay 
in the expedition, occasioned by their having visited and alarmed 
so many different places, had given the Spaniards full time to 
complete them. This was a bitter mortification to Sir Francis 
Drake ; and, sick as we learn he already was, no doubt greatly 
tended to accelerate his death. The closing scene of his eventful 
life is thus given by Hakluyt : — 

" On the 1 5th January, on their way towards Puerto Bello, Captain Plat 



died of sickness, and then Sir Francis Drake began to keep his cabin and to 
complain of a scowring or fluxe. On the 23rd they set sail and stood up 
again for Puerto Bello, which is but three leagues to the westward of Nom- 
bre de Dios. 

" On the 28th, at 4 of the clock in the morning, our General Sir Francis 
Drake departed this life, havinge been extremely sicke of a fluxe, which 
began the night before to stop on him. He used some speeches at, or a little 
before, his death, rising and apparelling himselfe, but being brought to bed 
againe, within one hour died." 

" They moved on to Puerto Bello, and after coming to anchor in the bay, 
and the solemn burial of our Generall in the sea, Sir Thomas Baskerville 
being aboord the Defiance, where Mr. Bride made a sermon, having to his 
audience all the Captaines in the fleete. Sir Thomas having commanded all 
aboord the Garland, with whom he held a council, and there showing his 
commission, was accepted for Generall." 

He received a sailor's funeral very near to the place where his 
great reputation was first established : his body was committed 
to the deep in a leaden coffin, with all due solemnity. 

After such a loss, coming as it did after so many others, all 
idea of further proceedings was abandoned ; and the expedition 
returned home, under the command of Sir Thomas Baskerville. 
On their voyage they were attacked near the Isles of Pines, off 
Cuba, by a Spanish fleet of twenty sail, being a part of the 
sixty ships sent out from Carthagena to intercept the English 
fleet, the remainder having directed their course to the Havana. 
Baskerville in the Defiance, and Trough ton in the Garland, 
gave them so warm a reception that, after an action of two hours, 
in which several of their best ships were damaged, and one of 
them set on fire and burnt, they sheered off. The Spaniards, 
however, as usual, published a vapouring account, in which they 
asserted that the English ran away, and that they pursued them, 
but could not overtake them. Monson says that their General, 
Don Bernardino, " who had a string of names as long as a 
cable," was an approved coward, and showed himself to be such 
when he encountered the English fleet ; but that his cowardice 
was compensated for by the valour of his Vice- Admiral, Juan 
de Garay, who behaved himself bravely. 

Don Bernardino certainly proved himself to be a poltroon. 
When Baskerville learned the scandalous falsehood which he had 
published, he demanded satisfaction ; and told him that he was 
ready to meet him in any spot, or in any country* that he would 

chaf. xii.] TO THE SPANISH COLONIES. 179 

name, which was at peace with Spain and England ; but the 
Don thought it best not to answer the call, and quietly sub- 
mitted to be publicly branded as a vain boaster and a coward. 

The English expedition reached home in the beginning of 
May, 1596', with very little booty : the small towns which had 
been burned, and the ships which had been destroyed, were 
but a poor recompense for the loss of two of the ablest sea- 
officers in Europe. 

That the loss of Drake was severely felt is sufficiently mani- 
fested by the numerous testimonials as to his services and cha- 
racter that appeared in verse and prose ; and his mental and 
personal qualifications were set forth in glowing terms by several 
of the old annalists ; particularly by Stow and Fuller. The 
former says, 

" He was more skillfull in all poyntes of nauigation then any that ever 
was before his time, in his time, or since his death ; he was also of a perfect 
memory, great observation, eloquent by nature, skillfull in Artillery, expert 
and apt to let bloud, and give physick unto his people according to the 
climate ; he was low of stature, of strong limbs, broad breasted, round 
headed, browne hayre, full bearded, his eyes rounde, large and clear, well 
favoured, fay re and of a charefull countenance. His name was a terror to 
the French, Spanyard, Portugall and Indians ; many Princes of Italy, Ger- 
many, and other, as well enemies as friends, in his life time desired his 
picture. He was the second that euer went through the Straights of Magel- 
lanes, and the first that euer wente rounde about the worlde : he was law- 
fully married unto two wives both young, yet he himself and ten of his 
brethren died without issue: he made his younger brother Thomas his 
heire, who was with him in most and chiefest of his Imploymentes ; in 
briefe hee was as famous in Europe and America as Tamberlayne in Asia 
and Affrica. 

! Ambitious for Honor. 
Unconstant in Amity. 
Greatly affected to popularity. 
" He was fifty and five yeares old when he died." 

" If," says Fuller, " any should be desirous to know something of the 
character of Sir Francis Drake's person, he was of stature low, but set and 
strong grown : a very religious man towards God and his houses, generally 
sparing the churches wereever he came : chaste in his life, just in his deal- 
ings, true of his word, merciful to those that were under him, and hating 
nothing so much as idlenesse : in matters (especially) of moment, he was 
never wont to rely on other men's care, how trusty or skilful soever they 
might seem to be, but always contemning danger, and refusing no toyl ; 
he was wont himself to be one (who ever was a second) at every turn, where 
courage, skill, or industry, was to be employed." 



Galled as Spain had been for so many years by the number- 
less victories obtained over her by Drake, it is not surprising 
that her writers should have treated his memory severely ; but 
it is to be regretted that so eminent a poet as Lopez de Vega 
should have indulged in such invective as he has done, in his 
poem called Dragontea. Even Lord Holland, the great admirer 
of this man, says that his poem is full of virulent and unpoetical 
abuse ; he might have added that it is a tissue of falsehood and 
blasphemy, as scandalous and revolting as ever was committed 
to paper ; and not against Drake alone, but also against Queen 
Elizabeth and all her gallant officers. Describing the death of 
Sir Francis Drake, he says, 

" His own people, instigated by the furies, gave him poison ; that being 
aware of it he refused all food, but then the poison was concealed in his 
medicine, and thus worked its effect. Behold the desolation and the ruin 
of this bold and untameable man. Behold the miserable kind of death 
that has dragged the soul from the body into hell."* 

The traitor Allen, although he ceased his persecuting slan- 
ders of Drake, after his death, yet ordered his portrait to be 
removed from a painter's collection in Rome, where it happened 
to be placed next to that of Philip. 

" At the sight of this," says Strype, " the Cardinal's Mace-bearer (Allen) 
was enraged with many passionate Italian words, as an insufferable indignity 

* It is somewhat curious to see our gallant Admiral assume the character 
of a poet. In the year 1583 a book was published by Sir Humphrey Gil- 
bert, Knight, entitled " A True Report of the late discoveries, and pos- 
session taken in the righte of the Crowne of Englande, of the Newfound 
Landes," to which, as was usual in those days, was appended " Commenda- 
tions by principal persons friendly to the author or the work." Among 
these we find the following : — 

Sir Frauncis Drake, Knight, in commendation of the above Treatise. 
" Who seekes by worthie deedes to gaine renowne for hire, 
Whose hart, whose hand, whose purse is prest to purchase his desire, 
If anie such there bee, that thirsteth after fame, 
Lo, heare a meane, to winne himself an everlasting name ; 
Who seekes by gaine and wealth to advance his house and blood, \ 

Whose care is great, whose toile no lesse, whose hope is all for good, 
If anie one there bee that covettes such a trade, 
Lo heere the plot for commonwealth, and private gaine is made, 
He that for vertue's sake will venture farr and neere, 
Whose zeale is strong, whose practize trueth, whose faith is void of feere, 
If any suchJ;here bee, inflamed with holie care, 
Heere may nee finde a readie meane, his purpose to declare. 
So that for each degree, this Treatise dooth unfolde, 
; The path to fame, the proofe of zeale, and way to purchase golde. 

" Fraunces Drake." 

chap, xii.] TO THE SPANISH COLONIES. 181 

offered to that great Catholic King. And this was not all, but notice 
was immediately given by him to the Cardinal at the palace ; and a mes- 
senger despatched back to put Drake's picture down; though the painter 
himself, out of fear, presently did it, and notwithstanding came to trouble 
about it. It is well if Drake were not now burnt in effigy." 

Monson, who seizes every occasion to say anything ill-natured 
of Sir Francis Drake, expresses himself thus when speaking of 
his death — 

" Sir Francis Drake, who was wont to rule fortune, now finding his error, 
and the difference between the present strength of the Indies, and what it 
was when he first knew it, grew melancholy upon this disappointment, and 
suddenly, and / do hope naturally, died at Puerto Bello." 

This insinuation is as gratuitous as it is unfounded and uncha- 

" Upon what," says Dr. Johnson, " this conjecture is grounded, does not 
appear ; and we may be allowed to hope, for the honour of so great a man, 
that it is without foundation ; and that he whom no series of success could 
ever betray to vanity or negligence would have supported a change of for- 
tune without impatience or dejection." 

Indeed, the whole course of Drake's life^lies^uch an insinu- 
ation. And-suxely at a time when death was mowing down hun- 
dreds both of officers and men, it is little surprising that the 
two commanders should not escape, both of whom had seen 
enough service to wear out any constitution. Captain Henry 
Savile, who was in the same ship, says, 

" Sir Francis Drake died of the flux which had growen upon him eight 
days before his death, and yielded up his spirit, like a christian, to his Crea- 
tor, quietly in his cabin." * 

The following parallel between Drake and Hawkins is from 
the pen of an anonymous writer (under the signature of R. M.) 
It is given in Prince's ' Worthies of Devon,' and appears to be 
drawn with fairness and truth : — 

" They were both alike given to travelling in their youth, and in their 
more mature years. They both attempted many honourable voyages ; as 
that of Sir John Hawkins to Guinea, to the isles of America, and to St. Juan 
de Ulloa ; so likewise Sir Francis Drake, after many discoveries in the West 
Indies, and other parts, was the first Englishman that ever encompassed the 
globe, in which, as well as in his great knowledge of sea affairs, he far 



exceeded, not only Sir John Hawkins, but all others. In their natures and 
dispositions they differed as much as in their management of war. Sir 
Francis was of a lively spirit, resolute, quick, and sufficiently valiant ; Sir 
John, slow, jealous, and difficult to be brought to a resolution. In council, 
Sir John Hawkins did often differ from the judgment of others, making a 
show in difficult cases of knowing more than he would declare. Sir Francis 
was a willing hearer of every man's opinion, but commonly a follower of his 
own. He never attempted any action wherein he was an absolute com- 
mander but he performed it with great reputation, and could go through the 
weightiest concerns with wonderful ease. On the contrary, Sir John 
Hawkins was an undertaker of great things ; but for the most part without 
fortune or success. 

" Sir John Hawkins naturally hated land-soldiers, and though he was very 
popular, affected to keep company with common people rather than his 
equals ; Sir Francis, on the contrary, loved the land-soldiers, always encou- 
raged and preferred merit wheresoever he found it, and was affable and easy 
of access. 

" They had both many virtues, and agreed in some ; as in patience in 
enduring labours and hardships ; observation and remembrance of things 
past, and great discretion in sudden dangers. In other virtues they differed : 
Sir John Hawkins was merciful, apt to forgive, and faithful to his word ; 
Sir Francis Drake hard to be reconciled, but constant in friendship; and 
withal at the same time, severe and courteous, magnanimous and liberal. 
They were both ambitious to a fault, but one more than the other ; for Sir 
Francis had an insatiable thirst after honour beyond all reason. He was 
full of promises, and more temperate in adversity than in prosperity. He 
had likewise some other imperfections, as quickness to anger, bitterness in 
disgracing, and was too much pleased with sordid flattery. Sir John 
Hawkins had malice with dissimulation, rudeness in behaviour, and was 
covetous in the last degree. They were both alike happy in being great 
commanders, but not equally successful. They both grew great and famous 
by the same means, that is, by their own virtues, courage, and the fortune of 
the sea. There was no comparison, however, between their merits, taken in 
general, for therein Sir Francis far exceeded." 

To the united efforts of these two brave and indefatigable 
seamen the British navy in its infancy was more indebted than 
to any other individuals, or even~tcTthe government. By their 
joint efforts that noble institution, long known as the Chest at 
Chatham, was planned and carried Jnto effect for the humane 
and wise purpose of relieving the wants and rewarding the merits 
of seamen maimed or worn out in the service of their country. 

To the inhabitants of Plymouth the memory of Sir Francis 
Drake, their townsman, must ever be dear : daily and h ourly, 
indeed, are they reminded of his good offices towards them, as 

chap, xii.] TO THE SPANISH COLONIES. 183 

it is to his enterprise and exertions that they owe the enjoyment 
of one of the greatest blessings bestowed on mankind — a plen- 
tiful supply of good fresh water. Before his time the inhabitants 
were obliged to fetch their water and wash their clothes a mile 
from the town : but, by his great skill and industry, a stream of 
fine water was brought into the place. The springs from which 
it is derived are on the side of Dartmoor, and distant seven or 
eight miles in a direct line ; but the natural course of the 
stream was twenty -five miles in length : this Drake, by cutting 
a passage for it through rocks, and carrying it over valleys, 
reduced to eighteen ; and the works were completed in a period 
of less than a year. The whole of the expense was not defrayed 
by Sir Francis ; as it appears from old records that a sum of 
about 350/. was granted by the corporation to pay the damages 
to the proprietors of the lands. The revenue derived to the 
town at the present time is about 2000/. a-year, and is applied to 
public purposes. Sir Francis built several mills and divers con- 
duits on the stream : of these he had a lease for sixty-seven years. 

The declared animosity of Spain rendered it necessary to pay 
special attention to the state of all the southern ports of the 
kingdom, both in England and Ireland. Plymouth was parti- 
cularly exposed to attack, and had no fort or works for its 
defence. Sir Francis Drake, therefore, in co-operation with the 
magistracy, addressed a letter to the government. They asked in 
this letter that Lord Burleigh would move her Majesty to contri- 
bute towards the building of a fort, and that if 1200/. or 1000/. 
were granted, the inhabitants would never ask for more. That, 
with such a fort, they would be able to withstand the enemy, if 
they were even 50,000 strong, for ten or twelve days at the least ; 
and that Sir Francis Drake would contribute, at the least, 100/. 
towards this object. They further requested that her Majesty 
would bestow on them eight or ten brass pieces of ordnance, and 
the rest they would themselves provide ; stating that they had 
thirteen pieces planted on the Hoe, borrowed from sundry per- 
sons, and about twenty-three on St. Nicholas' Island (since 
called Drake's Island), the greater part of which were likewise 

The letter further stated, that at the time of the Armada such 
was the fear of invasion, that many of the inhabitants conveyed 
their goods and themselves out of the town, and others would 


have followed the example had they not been stopped by the 
arrival of Sir Francis Drake, who, to give them the greater 
confidence, Jnmtght his wife and family thither. The same 
document shows that on May-day, in each year, 1300 men, well 
appointed, were mustered upon the Hoe ; and that Sir Francis 
established a watch and ward to be kept in the town every night, 
no less than if it were a garrison ; every master tradesman to 
have the charge in rotation, and to watch till midnight, and 
then be relieved by his deputy. Sir Francis himself took the 
first watch.* 

Whenever the exertions of Drake could be of use, publicly or 
individually, he was ever ready to afford his aid. It has been 
mentioned that during his mayoralty he caused " a compass to 
be erected on the Hoe-hill." What this compass was has been 
a matter of much doubt ; whether a dial, a meridian line, or 
the points of the compass. No traces of any such thing now 
exist ; but we know that it was there in the year 1720, one hun- 
dred and thirty-seven years after Drake had placed it. This 
appears from a book entitled * Magna Britannia et Hibernia 
Antiqua et Nova,' printed in the year 1720, in which is the 
following passage : — 

" Between this town (Plymouth) and the sea is an hill, called the Haw 
(Hoe), on the top of which is a delicate level or plain, which affords a 
very pleasant prospect on all sides, and a curious compasse for the use of 

One more instance may be given of Drake's ready and liberal 
support of any project of public utility. Hakluyt was anxious 
to establish a lecture in London on the art of navigation ; 

* For which cause," says he, " I have dealt with the right worshipfull 
Sir Francis Drake, that seeing God hath blessed him so wonderfully, he 
woulde do this honour to himselfe and benefite to his countrey, to bee at the 
cost to erecte such a lecture : whereunto in most bountifull maner at the verie 
first he answered, that he liked so well of the motion, that he woulde giue 
twentie poundes by the yeare standing, and twentie poundes more before 
hand to a learned man to furnish him with instruments and maps, that 
woulde take this thing upon him : yea, so readie he was, that he earnestly 
requested mee to helpe him to the notice of a fitte man for that purpose, 
which I, for the zeale I bare to this good actio, did presently, and brought 

* Lansdowne MSS., British Museum. 

chap, xii.] TO THE SPANISH COLONIES. 185 

him one, who came vnto him and conferred with him thereupon : but in fine 
he would not vndertake the lecture, vnlesse he might haue fourtie pounde 
a yeere standing, and so the matter ceased for that time : howbeit the 
worthie and good knight remaineth still constant, and will be, as he told 
me very lately, as good as his worde. Howe if God shoulde put into the 
head of any noble man to contribute other twentie pounde, to make this 
lecture a competent living for a learned man, the whole realme no doubt 
might reape no small benefite thereby." 

Drake was greatly attached to Plymouth and its neighbour- 
hood ; and, in 1587, purchased of Sir Richard Grenvile the house 
and domain of Buckland Monachorum, so called from having been 
the property of a society of Cistertian monks, whose house was 
suppressed in the reign of Henry VIII. The church of this 
convent was converted into a dwelling-house, and was the 
country residence of Sir Francis : it has always continued the 
residence of the Drake family. Buckland Abbey is situated on 
the banks of the Tay, ten miles from Plymouth ; and its exten- 
sive buildings show the grandeur and solidity of such edifices. 
Here there is a full-length original picture of Sir Francis, 
an. 1594, aetatis 53, and a framed copy of his patent of arms. 
There is also the sword and an old drum, which he had with him 
in his voyage round the world. 

About a mile from the abbey is the village of Buckland 
Monachorum, which has a handsome church ; within the walls 
of which are deposited the remains of some of the Heathfields 
and Drakes, to whose memory several marble monuments have 
been raised. On that to General Elliot, Baron Heathfield, is a 
long inscription which thus concludes : — 

" He married Ann Polixen Drake, daughter of 

Sir Francis Drake, Bart., 

Who lies interred near this spot ; 

And by her left a daughter, who was married to 
John Trayton Fuller, Esq." 

The descendant of this gentleman succeeded to the Drake pro- 
perty, and took the name and the armorial bearings. He was 
created a baronet in 1824, and is the present Sir Thomas Tray- 
ton Fuller Elliot Drake, of Nutwell Court, Buckland Abbey, 
Sherford and Sheaf hay ne House. 

Drake's town residence was an old royal palace near the Steel- 
yard, in Thames-street, close by Dowgate Hill, called the 


Hakluyt says, " Sir Francis Drake made his brother, Thomas 
Drake, and Captain Jonas Bodenham executors ; and Mr. Thomas 
Drake's son his heir to all his lands except one manor, which he 
gave to Captain Bodenham." This is somewhat incorrect-; but 
in the records of the Prerogative Court of Doctors' Commons 
there are two wills, one dated (blank) day of August, 1595, 
apparently made in contemplation of going into action, as he 
sailed from Plymouth on the 28th of that month ; the other, 
dated the 27th of January, 1596, the day before he died. In 
the first will Anthony Prowse, William Strode, and Christopher 
Harris are executors, and his cousins, Master Richard Drake 
and Thomas Barret, are named " rulers and overseers " of the 
will. By the last his brother Thomas was appointed sole execu- 
tor : under both he was the residuary devisee and legatee of the 
real and personal estate. 

It appears there was a suit in the Prerogative Court between 
the said executor and Dame Elizabeth, the relict ; and that sen- 
tence was given in favour of the former, pronouncing for the 
validity of both wills. 

Sir Francis Drake was twice elected to a seat in parliament : 
first, as burgess for the town of Bossiney (otherwise Tintagal) 
in the county of Cornwall, in the twenty-seventh parliament 
held by Queen Elizabeth; and again in 1592-93, as the repre- 
sentative of the borough of Plymouth. It does not appear, 
however, that he took any lead in the House, or troubled him- 
self much with politics. Drake was no courtier ; but he was 
ever ready to exert his best faculties in the Queen's service ; 
and was highly respected by all her Majesty's servants, and his 
advice greatly relied upon. 

In that reign it was customary to present the Sovereign with 
some token of regard on New Year's Day, generally some de- 
vice in gold, silver, or jewellery. In Nicholl's 'Progresses' 
we find it recorded that, in 1583, was — 

" Geven by Sir Frauncis Drake, onne sault of golde, like a globe standing 
upon two naked men, being the history of Jupiter and Pallas, with a woman 
on the top thereof, having a trumpet in her hand ; the foot enamelled with 

And again, in 1586, — 

" Geven by Sir Frauncis Drake, a frame of fethers, white and redd, the 

chap, xii.] TO THE SPANISH COLONIES. 187 

handle of golde inamuled, with a halfe-moone of mother-of-perles, within 
that a halfe-moone garnished with sparks of dyamonds, and a few seede 
perles on thone side, having her majesty's picture within it, and on the 
backside a device, with a crowe over it." 

This custom of New Year's gifts was laid aside in the early 
part of the reign of James I. 

The latter part of the life of Drake, from 1590 to his last 
fatal voyage in 1595, appears to have been entirely occupied on 
objects of public utility and private benevolence. He was un- 
questionably, in conjunction with his two friends and colleagues, 
Sir John Hawkins and Sir Martin Frobisher, the principal 
founder-ef-otrr naval celebrity. He it was w ho first introduced 
the aid of astronomy into practical navigation ; who laboured in 
the establishment of naval discipline, and in the art of preserv- 
ing the health and efficiency of seamen ; it was he who taught 
English sailors the advantage o f smartnes s, activity, and good 
seamanship, by which they were enabled in their little barks to 
conquer the castellated galleons of the Spaniards. But the 
highest praise of this great man is contained in the words of 
Fuller, " This our Captain was a religious man towards God 
and his houses, generally sparing churches where he came ; 
chaste in his life ; just in his dealings ; true to his ivord ; and 
merciful to those who w?.re under him ; hating nothing so much 
as idleness" 


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Return to desk from which borrowed. 
This book is DUE on the last date stamped below. 

1 Mo/;. 


NOV 14 1957 


MAI 8'63- 4 

m 2 1967 5 2 
OCT 091991 

NOV 2 1 1991 



MAY 1 4 1^92 


LD 21-95m-ll,'50(2877sl6)476